I’m with R.C. Sproul on this one; I believe the story of the woman caught in adultery is a true event based on eyewitness accounts, which is why scribes tried several times to place it into various texts. Somehow it landed in John 8, and I’m glad it did. I love the mystery behind it. What did Jesus write in the sand? What sins ran through the people’s minds as they surrendered their stones?
As the only human in the universe who is without sin, Jesus had the right to cast the first stone, for this woman was guilty, actually CAUGHT in adultery. But when Jesus was “left alone with the woman standing before him,” he spoke these sweet words: “Neither do I condemn you.” Words that have comforted me time and again, especially in those moments following fresh repentance.
Jesus is the only person we can face with the full extent of our sin and not be utterly condemned. His life and death prove he deals gently with sinners who know their need for him. What a joy for this woman to be left face to face with Jesus!
I love how Dane Ortlund puts it in his wonderful book, Gentle and Lowly: “For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ.”