Prayer: O Jesus, forgive me and set me free from all my accusers.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the temple with the accused woman before him.)
This story fulfills Jesus’ statement “You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.” (Jn 8:15) Jesus teaching in the temple and people getting up early to hear him is attested by Luke (21:38). This story follows the usual pattern of Jesus’ enemies trying to entrap him. Jesus extends God’s mercy so the woman can turn away from evil.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Early in the morning, Jesus came to the temple and all the people came to hear him. He sat down while he taught. The scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery and placed her in his presence. They said, “Master, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now, in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such a person. What do you say?” They said this to tempt him, so they might accuse him. But Jesus, bowing down, wrote on the ground with his finger.
As they continued to ask him, Jesus looked up and said, “Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” He, then, bent down and again wrote on the ground. Hearing this, they walked away, one by one, beginning with the elders.
Jesus was alone with the woman standing before him. Looking up, Jesus said, “Woman, where are those who accused you? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither will I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The people were so anxious to hear Jesus that they rose early in the morning.
- The Jewish leaders had no interest in Jesus’ teaching. They wanted only to entrap him.
- For these leaders, the adulterous woman is only an instrument they can use. For Jesus, she is a person whom he can forgive.
- As Jesus writes on the ground, the accusers recognize their sins.
- His challenge to be without sin is too great for them and they leave.
- The woman is relieved that these sinful accusers are gone.
- Jesus, the sinless one, refuses to condemn her. He invites her to become sinless, also.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, make me anxious to learn your word.
- O Jesus, to you I am a person, the most important person in your Kingdom.
- I have many sins but you are my Saviour.
- When I am in your presence, I am filled with peace.
- You never condemn me Jesus, unless I refuse to repent.
- Help me to sin no more.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will examine my own conscience and ask Jesus’ forgiveness.
- I will treat every person as Jesus treated this woman.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
Has no one condemned you? Then, neither do I.