After emptying Himself all day to the people, He disappears to rejuvenate and then goes at it again the next day. I know I need time with the Father to prepare myself for each new day. My energy is ZAPPED at the end of most every day, and I only have to deal with 5 people generally. He had to be ready to go in CROWDS which would exhaust me in a matter of seconds. I like to deal with others one-on-one or in very small groups. CROWDS are right out.
It's a good thing He took a respite, because He was put on the spot quite quickly.
vv2-3 "He sat down and was teaching them, when the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery."
He knew their intent. They wanted to trap Him with their questions. He turned the trap back onto them. I am always struck with His brilliance in handling 'the powers that be'. He is AMAZING! They wanted to know what He would do with Moses' words. His answer did not refute Moses, but still got His point across. "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. (v7)"
The other thing I pondered in this story of "What shall we do with this wicked woman?" was her and what this situation was like for her. Being caught in this sin would be mortifying enough. Especially with the penalties they had in those days. But then to be dragged into the center of the temple court and made an example of. YIKES!!! I feel so sorry for her. Besides all that, then she hears the Pharisees bring up stoning. I'm sure she was terrified. I would have been holding my breath for Jesus' answer.
Imagine what was going through her mind when she heard His Words.
What do think her reaction was when He spoke directly to her?
"'Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?' She answered, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.' (vv10-11)"
I bet she could hardly believe her ears. No condemnation, even in private? Only mercy. He allows her to go free with the admonishment to 'sin no more'. Reprieve. Relief. Deep gratitude. A desire to be different and to know this strange, merciful Man and to follow One such as this. Freedom on numerous levels. These are the things that I think I would be feeling. We aren't told her reaction. But it is interesting to think about.
Her situation reminds me of a quote I copied from a book written by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn called The Centurion's Wife.
"In the darkest hour, when there is no reason to go forward, no possibility of a better tomorrow, He is there to comfort, to guide, to heal. He brings with Him the gift of hope."
In verse 12, Jesus makes His next 'I AM' statement: "I AM the light of the world." He says we don't have to walk in the dark when we walk with Him!
Verse 13 begins a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees which challenges Jesus' authority that goes on through verse 29. Jesus basically says, 'I have authority because I AM God, but you don't have a clue.'
Verse 15 stands out: "You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one." If anyone has a right to judge anything, it is Him. "But if I do judge, My decisions are right...' He knows EVERYTHING, all the why's and the nuances, inside out. I know only what I see from the outside looking in. So my judgment is faulty at best. I am incapable of judging accurately, and I am ordered not to.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)"
Jesus then transitions into trying to get them to realize that He is the perfect picture of the Father. "If you knew Me, then you would know My Father too." (v19c) I have always found this such a comforting thought. We can not see the Father (or even Jesus physically), but we have Who He is displayed out clearly for us all through the New Testament. We can know Jesus personally because of His Word, and He says the Father is just like Him. So if we know One, we know Both! THRILLING!!!
In verses 21-30, Jesus talks about Who He is, where He is going to return to, and how He is going to get there. "Then many who heard Him say these things believed in Him. (v30)" Every time Scripture records people believing God, it is a MIRACLE. We sinful humans just can't come to that on our own. We have to have HELP! Thank You, LORD, for every person that You help to believe You.