ISSL Reflections September 24 2023 John 8:1–11, 56–59 Post 2

In the first post we considered the situation of the woman accused of adultery and brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees.

Today let’s consider the second paragraph in this week’s reading and what brings some of the crowd to the point of wanting to stone Jesus.

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.

We probably need to read some of what is recorded as leading up to this part of the conversation between Jesus and a group of Jews (probably “scribes and Pharisees” as mentioned earlier in the chapter).

In John 8:33-55 we hear a back and forth conversion between Jesus and some in the crowd.

What in this conversation do you think leads these folk to picking up stones to throw at Jesus?

Maybe Jesus’ claim that he came from God? Jesus’ suggestion that they are not from God and their Father is the devil? Or, that they do not know God?

Do they feel that Jesus has so attacked and threatened their faith and their Law/Torah, they must silence him?

Maybe for them all of the words of Jesus add up to blasphemy and Jesus certainly deserves death for that?

What do you think has brought these folk to the point of picking up stones?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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