A woman caught in the act of adultery. The door is busted down, she is dragged kicking and screaming, naked, and ashamed outside.
A crowd is gathered around Jesus the Messiah. The men who busted down the door now drop her carelessly in front of Jesus.
She sits in shame, naked and broken in the middle of the town. Men and women she calls friends. Children whom she has cared for on other occasions. Everyone knows her name. Now they know her shame. Now they know her sin. Some are shocked. Some are disgusted. Some are broken-hearted.
The men proclaim the charge. “This woman was caught in the middle of the act of adultery.”
She was. She knew. The shame was there. She had been caught. “The law of Moses says she should be stoned” the men cry out to Jesus. They were right, mostly.
It didn’t matter to her that her sinful partner was not there prepared to die as well. It did not matter to her that by not bringing the man to be judged, these accusers had also not fulfilled the Law of Moses and were guilty themselves as well. What mattered was…they were right. She was caught. Time to pay.
She would be thrown into a shallow ditch, and the men from town whose wives she was so close to, would then lift large heavy rocks and drop them down upon her. Her bones would be broken, her blood would be spilled, and she would die naked and alone in a hole, as a sinner.
Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” “No one, Master.”“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”