John 8:1-30

Author: Lisa Kelly

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

I Am the Light of the World

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father[a] who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.


21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Key Verse

7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”


There is controversy concerning this story—whether it has truly been part of the Gospel of John from the beginning.  Whether it has or has not, Jesus acts very Jesus-y here. It is entirely in keeping with Jesus’ relationship to sinners.

A woman is caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus. He is asked what the right thing is to do. He squats down and writes in the dirt. What did Jesus write? Was He writing a scripture? Maybe He was writing the names of these leaders and listing their sins. Maybe He was contemplating the women in his lineage of grace who had lifestyles comparable to this woman’s lifestyle. The fact is we don’t know what Jesus was writing.

What we do know is that he was wise to the traps of the scribes and Pharisees. He is asked if stoning is appropriate and he says, “If you are without sin, then you can throw the first stone!” Not one of them is qualified to stone her. Sin had leveled the playing field. Jesus was the only one who stayed with the woman. He was the only one who could stay with her given the whole “without sin” qualification. But He didn’t accuse. In a mixture of mercy and grace and Godly standards, He called her to repentance.

Did she “Sin no more”? Probably not. It seems to be a pretty constant struggle, at least for me, to go about my day blamelessly. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with his inability to live a sinless life. He said in Romans 7, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” But Paul knew. He knew that even in his struggle that the answer is Jesus. The answer is always Jesus. He was the answer for Paul. He was the answer for the adulterous woman. He is the answer for us. In Paul’s own words, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

But the very words of this “light of the world” in verse 29 are what I need to hear most, “And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone. . .” Jesus was not alone, and neither are we! We are not condemned, and we are not alone. We woke up to new mercies this morning that should be soothing to our souls.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Think about a time when your sin was exposed for others to see. What did you want more than anything at that        moment?

2.  Does the way Jesus treated this woman help you face some of your own sins?

3.  Is it easier for you to forgive or to ask for forgiveness for yourself?






Lisa Kelly

Lisa loves Jesus, her family, and the church. She enjoys coffee, spending time outdoors, and reading. She and her husband, Kevin, have five children and have worshipped at Saturn Road since 1992.