“Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” So, thought the Pharisees and religious rulers, how would Jesus respond if we bring him a ‘sinner’ who, according to the Law of Moses, should be stoned? Could we catch him in a no-win situation? Either he condemns the woman, contradicting his commitment to grace, or he glosses over her sin, sacrificing his commitment to the Law of God.
But Jesus CAN still affirm the law by pointing out the hypocrisy and guilt-worthiness of the accusers, along with the accused. Jesus, the righteous judge, who could condemn – chooses to forgive. And mercy triumphs over judgment. This is not just the story of a woman caught in sin. It’s a story all of us share. We deserve judgment. And in his great compassion and mercy, Jesus gives grace instead.
“Who is he that condemns? No one! Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34)