John 8:3-11

There is a Savior who loves sinners and who understands and sympathizes with us. John speaks about Jesus as One who loves sinners and reaches out to them in grace, forgiveness, and love.


A. Her sin. This woman was caught in the very act of adultery. She was guilty before the Lord and before the world. Now, adultery is a vile sin, but it is no worse than any other sin (James 2:10). In fact, even if we never committed a sin with our bodies or our minds, we would still be guilty before the Lord (Rom. 3:10, 23; Gal. 3:22). We are all as guilty as this woman; our problem is that we simply won’t admit it (Prov. 28:13).

B. Her shame. In their haste to bring this woman before Jesus, her accusers probably didn’t give her time to get properly dressed before they hauled her into public. She was certainly humiliated by the public accusations and the disclosure of her sin.

Sin is a shameful thing! No matter how skillfully it is hidden from the eyes of those around us, Jesus knows all about it, and one day it will be revealed to all (Luke 12:3).

C. Her sentence. Her accusers were absolutely correct! According to the law, this woman deserved to die (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22). But there was one small problem: Where was her partner? Both were supposed to die for this sin! The man may have been part of this scheme to attack Jesus. He may have been allowed to slip away. Nevertheless, this woman was guilty, and she deserved to die.


A. Their plan. These men had used this woman to trap Jesus. If Jesus simply let the woman go, He would be seen as being soft on sin and could have been arrested for being in violation of the law. However, if He gave permission for the woman to be killed, He could then be accused before Rome as an upstart and a seditionist, and He would have destroyed His reputation as being the “friend of publicans and sinners.” The critics felt that no matter what Jesus said, He had no wiggle room.

B. Their problems. The plan might have succeeded with an ordinary man, but these men were dealing with Jesus Christ, and He refused to play by their rules! When they tried to stump Jesus, they discovered that they had met their match. Notice how He responded to their arguments.

1. They were ignored. As the critics were waiting for Jesus to respond, He knelt down and began to write on the ground. He had no use for their pettiness and lack of love for sinners. What did Jesus write?

In the book The Desire of Ages, page 461, Ellen G. White says, “But as their eyes, following those of Jesus, fell upon the pavement at His feet, their countenances changed. There, traced before them, were the guilty secrets of their own lives.”

Whatever the Lord wrote on the ground, His writing surely got their attention.

2. They were exposed. When Jesus did speak, He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the first stone.” Jesus wasn’t requiring that any judge be sinless. If that were the case, no human would ever be able to render judgment in any matter, even in a court. I think that Jesus was saying to these hypocrites, “He that is free from this particular sin, let him first cast a stone at her.” You see, adultery can be committed with the head and the heart just as surely as it can be committed with the body! At this point, all the shouting stopped, and all that could be heard was the sound of rocks dropping to the ground and the shuffle of sandals as the men slipped quietly away. You see, these men had been exposed before their fellowman, the accused lady, and, most importantly, before the Lord.


A. He faced her. Only Jesus could have cleared the Temple in that fashion, and when the last rock hit the temple floor, Jesus stood up and faced this sinful woman. As He stood before her, He was the only One the world has ever known who was qualified to take up the first stone, as well as the rest, and stone her to death. When she faced Jesus, she faced the ultimate judge!

She had reached a place in her life where it was just her and Jesus. It always comes down to that. Eventually, somewhere, someday you are going to have to face Jesus, too.

B. He forgave her. The only One qualified to throw a stone refused to do so! Jesus dealt with this woman on the basis of compassion. The religious men had condemned her and considered her as good as dead; however, Jesus saw someone who was worthy of His love and salvation. When this woman came to Jesus, she received two great blessings that forever changed her life. These same blessings are the gift of God to all who receive Jesus as their Savior. Thus, she got the following:

1. A new Lord. Through her faith and her simple confession of Christ as Lord, salvation became hers. And that is all we need to do to be saved (Rom. 10:9). It doesn’t get any easier than that! Even small children can comprehend that truth and make it real in their lives. What about you? Have you taken this step of faith? Anyone who wants to be saved can be saved through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 22:17; John 3:16; 6:37).

2. A new life. All of her life, this woman had been a prisoner of her own lusts and desires (Eph. 2:1-3). Jesus, however, came and unlocked the shackles that bound her in sin. He set her free! Imagine for a minute what happened the next time she saw her lover!

Every person who comes to Jesus for salvation receives this new lease on life (2 Cor. 5:17). We get a chance to begin again, and this time, we actually have a chance of making something out of our lives (1 Peter 1:23).


In the same book Ellen G. White adds: “In His act of pardoning this woman and encouraging her to live a better life, the character of Jesus shines forth in the beauty of perfect righteousness. While He does not palliate sin, nor lessen the sense of guilt, He seeks not to condemn, but to save.”

Maybe, like this woman, your life has been wrecked and ruined by sin. Maybe religious people have hurt you. Maybe you are looking for a compassionate Savior, One who will make everything right. I invite you to come to Jesus. He loves you just as you are. He cares about you and wants to save you.