A Peeping Tom Story

The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group, they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone women like this. What do you say?” They said this to test him because they wanted a reason to bring an accusation against him. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger.

They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.” Bending down again, he wrote on the ground. Those who heard him went away, one by one, beginning with the elders. Finally, only Jesus and the woman were left in the middle of the crowd.

10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Is there no one to condemn you?”

11 She said, “No one, sir.”

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, don’t sin anymore” (John 8:3-11, Common English Bible).

A couple of years ago I had an ah-ha (a.k.a. “a light bulb) moment. How did the Pharisees and legal experts catch the woman caught in adultery? Unless her husband caught her, this story gets pretty creepy.

Clearly the Pharisees and legal experts were in search of a situation like this. They wanted to trap Jesus.

If Jesus said, “She sinned and her sin is a capital offense. Go ahead, stone her.” They would claim Jesus a fraud. “He says love, mercy, and grace are important but where are all those things now? Would this woman not deserve such a promised?

On the other hand, if Jesus says, “No, it isn’t that big of a deal. Let her live.” He downplays the law of Moses. Once again the Pharisees believe Jesus is where they want him.

I see the Pharisees much like Wylie Coyote of Saturday morning cartoon fame. He thinks he has the Roadrunner trapped until his plan backfires and he gets caught in his own trap. Undeterred, the coyote goes right back to work on the next plan. This one will work, until it fails.

Though far-less funny (our kids have no idea what they are missing by not seeing real Saturday morning cartoons) the Pharisees keep try to trap Jesus at every turn, and fail.

Jesus writes in the sand. Today it is unknown what he wrote. Then it was just he, the Pharisees and legal experts. Bible commentators do have ideas. Some say Jesus wrote their sins in the sand. At some point, he says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He then resumes writing sins in the sand. One by one, the crowd leaves until he and the woman remain.

The other popular explanation from commentators is that Jesus wrote, “Where is the man.” A person cannot commit adultery alone. It takes two. And yes, they brought someone to Jesus who had committed a sin so great, it’s punishment is among the worst deaths humans devised. But, the man committed the same sin. He would deserved punishment. Where was he?

As I was reading this story, I thought, how did they know? Were they violating the woman’s constitutional rights against illegal searches? I jest but still, short searching her house for the problem, or peeping in the windows (either would be creepy), how would they know? Perhaps he wrote, “How do you know?” Or better, “What were you doing in her bedroom?”

Without question, she did sin. Jesus never denies that. He says as much saying, “Go and sin no more.” Her sin didn’t excuse the man involved. Nor were the Pharisees excused from the sins of their hearts.

I think this story is really about hypocrisy. It is interesting that the Pharisees wanted that title, “hypocrite for Jesus a hypocrite. Instead, the title belonged to them.

I am reminded of the old saying, “Be careful when you are pointing at someone else as there are three fingers pointing back on you.”

Be blessed

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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