Ever since Jesus started performing miracles and proclaimed His relationship to the Father, the Pharisees from the Temple in Jerusalem were looking for a way to condemn Him. While they knew that the Son of God would be coming, they just couldn't allow themselves to believe that this common man, the son of a carpenter from Nazareth in lowly regarded Galilee, could be in fact the One who came to reclaim the world. They were looking for a royal King, with gold and fine linens and, besides, Jesus was a threat to their power and prestige.
When he was on one of His visits to Jerusalem in the early phase of his ministry, He was in the Temple discussing His work and His relationship with God. The Pharisees and other upper crust leaders were looking for a way to trip Him up, to put Him in a position where they could accuse Him of breaking the Law. The scripture cited above is just one such example.
We don't know what Jesus was writing in the dry dusty ground with his finger while they were questioning Him about whether or not He would stone the woman for her adulterous behavior. It could have been the Ten Commandments or maybe a list of the sins of the Pharisees themselves, but He used it to formulate his answer. Rising to His feet, he answered the question this way, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."
The leaders knew that He had put them in a no win position, for all men are sinners and they also had violated their own law. The Law said that in the case of adultery, both the man and the woman had to be stoned to death and the guilty man was nowhere to be found. By using this approach, Jesus did not violate Jewish law and He also did not violate Roman law, for if he had encouraged them to put her to death, he would have been reported to the Roman authorities. Only Rome could carry out a death sentence.
So the ruling leaders and teachers all filed out of the courtyard leaving Jesus alone with the woman. He forgave Her, blessed Her and told her never to sin again. No better example of love and compassion could be offered by the Prince of Peace. It was a great example of forgiveness of sin.
What about each of us? Do we have it in our hearts to forgive those who have done things that we find to be reprehensible? Are we willing to open our hearts to them if they commit to a new life? Each of us must decide for ourselves what we would do but remember, it's what He expects of us if we are truly believers in Him. We must not limit ourselves to BELIEVING IN HIM, we must also BELIEVE HIM.
Dear Lord: Thank Thee for the wonderful stories and wisdom that Thou hast given us in the Holy Bible. Help us to read Thy Word and contemplate the love and glory that Thou hast provided by the gift of Thy Son Jesus Christ, who came to this earth to teach us and ultimately die for us. And help us to realize that upon His death on the Cross, Jesus has forgiven us and given us the gift of Eternal Life. All we have to do is take Him up on His offer and truly commit our lives to Him. What a glorious opportunity this is for all of us and we praise Thee for it. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.