Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

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Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  Waqar Daniel on Wed 27 Jun 2007, 6:11 pm

The Gospel of John records an incident where teachers of the law and Pharisees tried to trap Jesus. The points to be noticed in this incident are:

First
John says, they tried to trap Jesus. Now the question is what was their scheme and how they would achieve their plan?

Second
What was the Mosiac Law about adultery?

Third
Was that woman really caught in the act of adultery?

Fourth
Why did Jesus not condemn the woman?

To answer these questions or points, we need to look into the scripture and study it very closely keeping in mind the context "TRAP" and the time, that is the Roman Government's Rule.

And the scribes and the Pharisees brought to Him a woman having been taken in adultery. And standing her in the middle, they said to Him, Teacher, this woman was taken in the very act, committing adultery. And in the Law, Moses commanded that such should be stoned . You, then, what do You say? But they said this, tempting Him, that they may have reason to accuse Him. But bending down, Jesus wrote with the finger in the earth, not appearing to hear. But as they continued questioning Him, bending back up, He said to them, The one among you without sin, let him cast the first stone at her. And bending down again, He wrote in the earth. But hearing, and being convicted by the conscience, they went out one by one, beginning from the older ones, until the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the middle. And Jesus bending back up, and having seen no one but the woman, He said to her, Woman, where are those, the accusers of you? Did not one give judgment against you? And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I judge you. Go, and sin no more. [John 8-11]

The text clearly states the motives of the teachers of the law and Pharisees, who brought the woman to Jesus. They did it to trap Jesus [verse 6]and have something to accuse Him of. Their motives were hypocritical. They did not care about the woman or the law.

Mosiac law says:

"And a man who committeth adultery with a man's wife--who committeth adultery with the wife of his neighbour--the adulterer and the adulteress are surely put to death." [Leviticus 20]

"If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away the evil from Israel." [Deuteronomy 22]

The teaching of the law, found in Leviticus. 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22 teaches that both the adulterer and the adulteress should be put to death. If the woman was taken in the very act, then the man should have been caught too. Where was he? If the Jews were really so concerned about following Moses' law as they pretended to be, they would have brought the man too. What they really wanted to do was to trap Jesus.

THE TRAP

As Jesus claimed to be the King of Jews, and if He judged that woman according to Moses Law, then, Jesus would have surely threatened the writ/authority of the Roman Government and they would have easily accused Jesus of rebellion against the Roman Government. It was the Roman government who could sentence anyone to death. (John 18:31) If he said not to kill her then they could accuse Him of breaking Moses' law.

They continued to press Jesus for an answer, so He said that whoever among them was sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her. This turned the tables on them in more than one way.

First
It gave them the duty to kill her, if it was to be done. This approach agreed with the Law of Moses, which they claimed to be following, for it said the witnesses must be the first ones to initiate the execution of the guilty "At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee."[Deut. 17,7] They would have to execute her if it was to be done. In that case, they would be the ones to have to give an answer to the Romans for challenging the writ of the Government.

Second

This was an appeal to their own consciences. In the presence of all the people, Jesus was forcing them to claim, if they stoned her, that they themselves were innocent of guilt. They had come to Jesus with hypocritical intentions, not to uphold the law, but to trap Him. His approach called attention to the evil they were committing in the very act of bringing the woman to Jesus.

Third

After Jesus' statement, the accusers left. When Jesus then said that He did not "condemn" the woman in v11, He uses the word "condemn" as in v10 - to pass a death sentence and determine to stone her to death. Jesus was saying that her accusers had not been willing to do that, so neither would Jesus condemn her to be stoned. According to the law, her accusers had to be the ones to cast the first stone. The law required a person to be put to death only if there were two or more witnesses to condemn them. They could not be condemned when there were no witnesses nor even if there was just one witness [Deut. 19:15; 17:6]. When the accusers left, Jesus could not stone her according to the law. But Jesus did tell her not to sin any more.

Now let us put this whole incident of John 8:3-11 in relevance to Psalm 7:14-17

"He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble, gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoop it out, falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils himself, his violence comes down on his own head"


Last edited by Waqar Daniel on Thu 30 Dec 2010, 4:58 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  thirsty on Wed 12 Sep 2007, 2:30 pm

It is very informative and I never knew the reason of the incident and why Jesus asked them to cast the first stone who is sinless. Moreover, I think it is quite interesting to note that it is written that Jews were trying to trap Jesus but I never knew what the trap was. I aksed once a Pastor and he said that Jews wanted to know whether Jesus will ask for stoning or will forgive her. Now I know the real meaning why it was called a "TRAP"

Thank you and God bless

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  blessed4ever on Wed 12 Sep 2007, 11:19 pm

I agree with you because I also never understood the story. Now I can explain to one of my non-believer friend/colleague, who questioned me that how this is a trap. I had no answer and I am waiting for tomorrow to answer him. I have got a print out of this article and will be explaining her. She will have to believe now that it was a trap and that Bible has no contradictions or misleading statements.

God bless all

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  blessed4ever on Wed 12 Sep 2007, 11:21 pm

By the way Thirsty and Daniel are you watching T20 Worldcup. I went to Cape Town to watch it. It was wonderful.

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  Waqar Daniel on Wed 12 Sep 2007, 11:23 pm

Yes I am watching but not in Cape Town Laughing but at home. I liked the opening match between West Indies and South Africa. Wonderful match!

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  stephen on Sun 16 Sep 2007, 12:09 am

It is awesome and I never thought of this like that. In Church we were told of great mercy Jesus showed in forgiving her, but in reality, it was a perfect trap set up by Pharisees to trap Jesus.

Thank you for your post and making us understand this puzzle.

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  dove on Sun 16 Sep 2007, 1:02 am

Isn't it awesome that God teaches us beautifully and has all the answers if we ask knowledge from God.

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  liberated on Wed 16 Jul 2008, 8:10 am

Waqar Daniel wrote:Greetings, peace and blessings in the name of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ


The Gospel of John records an incident where teachers of the law and Parisees tried to trap Jesus. The points to be noticed in this incident are:

First
John says, they tried to trap Jesus. Now the question is what was their scheme and how they would achieve their plan?

Second
What was the Mosiac Law about adultery?

Third
Was that woman really caught in the act of adultery?

Fourth
Why did Jesus not condemn the woman?

To answer these questions or points, we need to look into the scripture and study it very closely keeping in mind the context "TRAP" and the time, that is the Roman Government's Rule.

And the scribes and the Pharisees brought to Him a woman having been taken in adultery. And standing her in the middle, they said to Him, Teacher, this woman was taken in the very act, committing adultery. And in the Law, Moses commanded that such should be stoned . You, then, what do You say? But they said this, tempting Him, that they may have reason to accuse Him. But bending down, Jesus wrote with the finger in the earth, not appearing to hear. But as they continued questioning Him, bending back up, He said to them, The one among you without sin, let him cast the first stone at her. And bending down again, He wrote in the earth. But hearing, and being convicted by the conscience, they went out one by one, beginning from the older ones, until the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the middle. And Jesus bending back up, and having seen no one but the woman, He said to her, Woman, where are those, the accusers of you? Did not one give judgment against you? And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I judge you. Go, and sin no more. [John 8:3-11]

The text clearly states the motives of the teachers of the law and Pharisees, who brought the woman to Jesus. They did it to trap Jesus [verse 6]and have something to accuse Him of. Their motives were hypocritical. They did not care about the woman or the law.

Mosiac law says:

"And a man who committeth adultery with a man's wife--who committeth adultery with the wife of his neighbour--the adulterer and the adulteress are surely put to death." [Leviticus 20:10]

"If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away the evil from Israel." [Deuteronomy 22:22]

The teaching of the law, found in Leviticus. 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22 teaches that both the adulterer and the adulteress should be put to death. If the woman was taken in the very act, then the man should have been caught too. Where was he? If the Jews were really so concerned about following Moses' law as they pretended to be, they would have brought the man too. What they really wanted to do was to trap Jesus.

THE TRAP

As Jesus claimed to be the King of Jews, and if He judged that woman according to Moses Law, then, Jesus would have surely threatened the writ/authority of the Roman Government and they would have easily accused Jesus of rebellion against the Roman Government. It was the Roman government who could sentence anyone to death. (John 18:31) If he said not to kill her then they could accuse Him of breaking Moses' law.

They continued to press Jesus for an answer, so He said that whoever among them was sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her. This turned the tables on them in more than one way.

First
It gave them the duty to kill her, if it was to be done. This approach agreed with the Law of Moses, which they claimed to be following, for it said the witnesses must be the first ones to initiate the execution of the guilty "At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee."[Deut. 17:6,7] They would have to execute her if it was to be done. In that case, they would be the ones to have to give an answer to the Romans for challenging the writ of the Government.

Second

This was an appeal to their own consciences. In the presence of all the people, Jesus was forcing them to claim, if they stoned her, that they themselves were innocent of guilt. They had come to Jesus with hypocritical intentions, not to uphold the law, but to trap Him. His approach called attention to the evil they were committing in the very act of bringing the woman to Jesus.

Third

After Jesus' statement, the accusers left. When Jesus then said that He did not "condemn" the woman in v11, He uses the word "condemn" as in v10 - to pass a death sentence and determine to stone her to death. Jesus was saying that her accusers had not been willing to do that, so neither would Jesus condemn her to be stoned. According to the law, her accusers had to be the ones to cast the first stone. The law required a person to be put to death only if there were two or more witnesses to condemn them. They could not be condemned when there were no witnesses nor even if there was just one witness [Deut. 19:15; 17:6]. When the accusers left, Jesus could not stone her according to the law. But Jesus did tell her not to sin any more.

Now let us put this whole incident of John 8:3-11 in relevance to Psalm 7:14-17

"He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble, gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoop it out, falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils hinself, his violence comes down on his own head"


In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Waqar Daniel


This is a ferfect example of the wisdom of Jesus, "They tried to trap Him" . On the one hand, if Jesus said, "Leave her alone" He would be going against the law. On the other hand if He said, "Stone her" He would be going against all that He stands for. [Love grace, mercy, and forgiveness].
So He gave the perfect answer, He that is without sin, cast the first stone.

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Praise the Lord!

Post  Fenny West on Wed 23 Jul 2008, 3:50 pm

I praise the Lord for the revelation knowledge He has given you, Waqar.

Thank you very much for sharing this.

It reminds me of what a visiting preacher was saying just yesterday. Like the the accusers of this woman who did not care about the woman or the Mosaic Law but intent on trapping Jesus, many unbelievers in the Church and outside the Church tend to ask some curious questions- not that they care about the issues but just to trap you.

We need to be discerning and not waste our time with them.

Often you would hear them say: If God is alive and compassionate why are people starving in Africa? Why are innocent people dying of aids?

Secondly, by bringing the woman alone, they have watered down the Law of Moses to suit themselves and we need to avoid the same in our belief system. Unbelief is not only powerful enough to short-circuit the power of God but it is also capable of robbing us our salvation.
A Prophet Without Honor - Mark 6

1Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 3:1-6)

57And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matt13:57- 58)
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
7They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread."

8Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matt.16:5-12)

22When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

Marriage at the Resurrection

23That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24"Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God. 30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.(Matt22:23-33)

8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) Acts23:8

19 "O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered. 22"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

23 " 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
Mark9:19-24

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."[/color][color=#031433] Rev. 21 :8
May the Lord help us to believe Him for that which is naturally impossible and embracing ALL His promises, regardless of our experiences.

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  Waqar Daniel on Wed 23 Jul 2008, 5:01 pm

Dear Fenny

Praise and glory be our Heavenly Father through our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. I totally agree with you that we waste our time and our souls in questioning many things. The first question brought death upon mankind. The first question was asked by satan and we must not become a part of satan in this act.
He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the Garden?" (Genesis 3:1)
It is the same question that satan asks through us today and we very happily give in to him. We question many things and we try to prove God cruel and humans more humane. Although God has warned us of all the things yet we close our eyes, people are not interested what God has said but they are more interested in what they say.

Recently I was watching "Miami Ink" on Discovery Channel. It is a program where people come to a shop for tattoos. The owner said that if God will give him hell for his tattoos, then he does not want that God. The interesting part I found in his statement is that if he dies and goes to hell then he certainly did not want God when he was alive. So how can he blame God? Paul warned us, Satan might not outwit us. For we are not aware of his scheme (2 Cor 2:11)

This is what the Bible says
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherd on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
what are you making?
Does your work say, He has no hands...? (Isaiah 45:9)
God bless you and your family

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Re: Jesus and the Adulteress - THE TRAP

Post  Informer on Tue 22 Feb 2011, 8:08 am

From verse five to verse seven illustrates the transition from the Old to the New, with a great lesson of the difference. Under the law there is only judgment without mercy, whereas under grace is mercy without judgment, and mercy rejoices against judgment. For we as natural brute beasts are always ready to be a stone thrower, but which is harder? and which is easier? to throw stones, or to forgive? Which requires us to examine our own self? Moreover neither the accusers nor the accused are left without an instructive warning. First the warning against those who are not without sin (namely, all of us) that would accuse; secondly, the warning of the requirement of repentance to the accused. Yet Christ did not speak in the manner of condemning, rather that both may examine their own life.

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