“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.”  John 8:3

“This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.” John 8:6

Ahh, the loaded question.  I ask you a question; maybe even in a very sincere, answer seeking tone.  Yet secretly, I know what the answer should be and I hoping you give the wrong answer.  Or perhaps you give what I think is the correct answer and that will let me use that answer against you based on something you have previously said.  Either way I’ve got you and you have no escape.  My wisdom will defeat your arrogant ignorance in daring to think, believe and/or speak anything differently than I profess.

What a great plan.  The scribes and the Pharisees had Jesus just where they wanted him and if it cost a woman her life?  She’s a rotten sinner anyway, so much the better.  For Jesus had been claiming to be the Son of God.  The very same God who gave Moses His law.  The very same law that said that those committing adultery must be stoned.  I step aside a moment to point out another aspect of the cunning evil to which these people would stoop to.  For in Leviticus 20:10, it advises that both the man and the woman who commit adultery are to be put to death.  The scribes and Pharisees will tell Jesus that this woman was caught in the very act of adultery.  There can be no doubt concerning her guilt.  So where is the man she was caught with?  Why was he not also brought forward to pay the price as laid out in the Law of Moses?  But, back to the Pharisees plan.  You see Jesus was the type to associate with, even eat with these sinner types.  He claimed, in healing them, that He was forgiving their sins.  Blasphemy!  And some people, more and more people were actually starting to believe Him.  Jesus must be stopped.  Yet the people also believed, or at least said they believed in the Law of Moses and would not tolerate someone who openly taught to disregard the law.  They truly didn’t expect that Jesus would go along with stoning the woman but even if He did, they could point out to the crowd:  “Look he is no different than we are!  He thinks like us!  We do not claim to be the Son of God and you can see that he is no Son of God either!”  Yup Jesus was sunk.

They prodded him, in today’s vernacular some would say they bullied Him for an answer.  “Come Jesus, what do you say?”  they demanded.  Jesus just knelt writing in the sand.  Then Jesus answered.  A soft answer, not shouted but quietly spoken.  An answer that crushed their plan.  For the scribes and the Pharisees had not heard the entire saying that “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  There they stood, motionless, mouths a gape, hands with stones in them hanging limply to their sides.  “What did He say?” they pondered.  For in one brief statement, Jesus had upheld the perfect Law of His Father in Heaven and slammed shut the imperfect human judgement used to carry it out.  Each person’s conscious spoke to him:  “If I throw my stone, others will condemn me because they know that I have sinned.”  Slowly, glumly, stones fall out of unfurled fingers and drop harmlessly to the ground.  The Pharisees and scribes turn slowly away, grumbling to themselves:  “It was a good plan, it should have worked, it should have worked.”

Boy I am glad I am not like them!  Really?  Can I be so smug?  Have I never asked God:  “Don’t You love me God?  The bible says that You love me.  And if You loved me why won’t You do this thing or that thing for me?”  Am I not trying to back God into a corner with that question?  Am I not trying to say that I know more than Him?  We can come to God and in fact He wants us to come to Him with our prayers, including our requests.  Yet those requests should be made in humility, the humility of Christ Jesus.  Who faithfully asked His Father if there was some way that the cup of suffering might be taken from Him, but also righteously added: “not My will but Thine be done.”  What is our intent?  We can’t trick God into doing what we want regardless of His plan.

Here’s the thing though.  If we are not like the Pharisees and scribes and turn and walk away.    If our intent has been wrong and we’ve found that we’ve sinned.  If we truly repent, believing in the true Sonship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Then we will hear this amazingly blessed reply.  The reply that is the outcome of God’s Perfect Plan, truly The Best Plan.  Jesus will say:  “Neither will I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we humbly admit that we far too often think ourselves wise in our own ways.  We believe that we are equal to Your Wisdom and our plans are as good, if not better than Yours.  Thank you most Merciful Father that you do not strike us down with the judgement that we deserve.  We praise You Glorious Father, that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ, to be our salvation.  That when we turn from You, Jesus Christ is our path back.  As we make our petitions, help us to call upon and rely on Your Perfect Will for us.  Pour out Your Spirit on us, Dear Father, that our longing would become to have Your Will be our will.  That our intentions may always be pure and our lives a testimony praising Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.