ISSL Reflections September 24 2023 John 8:1–11, 56–59 Post 1

This week we focus our attention on two incidents recorded in John 8. The link between the two is the possibility of stoning someone.

In each account notice who is speaking to Jesus, who might be stoned, why they might be stoned, and what Jesus says or does in each setting.

John 8:1-11, 56-59 (NRSVue)

… Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and, making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

You might want to read Leviticus 20.10, Deuteronomy 22.22, Deuteronomy 17.7 to find some background on the issue of adultery and stoning.

Who is missing when the woman is brought before Jesus? What are your thoughts about that?

Can you think of other reasons the woman is brought before Jesus other than the accusation of adultery?

Jesus tells the accusers, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Why do you think the accusers leave?

When Jesus says to the woman, “Go your way, and from now on do not sin again,” do you think Jesus is too easy on the woman? Should he have punished her?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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