1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus also famously said in Matthew 7:3:
““Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Jesus’ quote in Matthew 7 offers a very true reality in our world in the past, present, and even the future. We are people who like to judge but we are unaware of our sins that deserves judgement.
John 8 is fascinating because Jesus actually gives an opportunity to the people to be judge, jury, and executioner to the woman who committed sin. But Jesus gives that opportunity with a condition. He says “Let any one of you who is without sin...be the first to throw a stone at her.” Before they are allowed to be executioner, he has them truly reflect if they are sinless.
The reason why no one was able to throw the stone at the woman was because they knew that the moment they threw a stone, they too would have to be stoned for their own sins. The people realized that to throw the stone at the woman was admitting that they are sinful themselves.
This passage again shows us that we love to judge and punish others for their sins but we don’t want to be punished for our own.
But there is a message of hope and God's grace here. By no means is Jesus saying to us and the woman “you can now live sinning always”. He clearly tells the woman “Go, leave your life of sin”. God’s grace we see here is that all the people realized and reflected that at the core of their hearts, everyone deserves to be stoned because we are sinful people. But instead of being condemned for it, Jesus would die on the cross for us, so that we who deserved to be stone are free instead. And in doing so, Jesus gives us the grace and opportunity (if we choose to believe) to go and now live a new life, free of sin.