The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the middle, they told him, “Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do you say about her?”
They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of. (John 8:3–6)
In the Book of Matthew, we learn that Jesus was healing people and the Jews had their hairs on their neck raised. Consequently, they wanted to nail Jesus for healing somebody on the Sabbath. The Jews would think nothing about rescuing any of their animals on the Sabbath, but to actually heal somebody on the Sabbath would have to be evidence that this man was not from God. Because, they knew God would not break the Sabbath—even if they did. But because they were born Pharisees or Jews, they were chosen by God before they were born (doctrine of unconditional election) and therefore their salvation was secure. Regardless of what these people thought, Jesus had a habit of pricking their consciences and showing them up for the hypocrites they were.
The Pharisees and Jews, who were not circumcised of heart, hated Jesus.
And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him.Because Jesus showed these hypocrites up for what they were, when he healed a person, they were fuming. So the Pharisees consulted the Machiavellian Herodians (Mark 3:6), and told them what happened. How they were eager to trap Jesus for healing on the Sabbath but he challenged them about doing good and saving life rather than destroying it. Probably using unpronounceable words, these Pharisees were seething. All because Jesus had the audacity to show them the truth about themselves, how they were such self-righteous hypocritical fools. If only they had the power to heal people—or overcome death!
He said to them, “What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.”
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, whole like the other. But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him. (Matthew 12:10–14)
The Herodians came up with the idea of presenting a woman as an adultress and having her stoned. This way they would be able to trap Jesus of Nazareth and see whether he would uphold the law.
The law requires that a woman caught in adultery has to be stoned. This way they will also be able to find out whether Jesus could really read people’s minds.
Instead of condemning the woman, Jesus appealed to the truth of reality and activated their consciences again, by essentially saying that if you know this woman has broken the law, and since you claim that you are the teachers of Israel (John 3.1; 3:10), why not let the one among you, who has not sinned, cast the first stone.
Now if the woman had not broken the law, and if her accusers knew that this was the case, for any of them to stone her, they themselves would be violating the law. But the Bible says that she had been caught in adultery. So after the scribes and Pharisees had left, Jesus asked the woman:
Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”The reason the Pharisees and scribes (lawyers) were attempting to trick Jesus by using an adultress is they could not nail Him regarding the Sabbath, when a man had his withered hand healed. Since Jesus said the Law states that we are to do good and save life, after having received advice from the Herodians (the politicians), the hypocrites thought that they now had their opportunity to nail their nemesis to the cross. But, bad luck for the fools, Lord Jesus had their numbers.
She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” (John 8:10–11)
As Jesus wrote in the ground, each person must have realized that his number was being dialed (so to speak). Each one, in turn, suddenly panicked and felt like he had another call to answer, so each had to run.
The Law Of God Demonstrates That Fools Who Break Them Are Not Superior