If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. john 7:36 (msg).
written in dust – part 3.
we all know it takes two to tango, which is why, since i was old enough to get it, i’ve always wondered why ‘they' only brought the woman from the ‘adulterous act’ before jesus in john 8. it was explained to me (culturally, through sermons, etc.), that in ancient hebrew times, when two people had an affair, the man would get off scot free, but the woman would be charged with a capital crime, and subsequently stoned. such was the oppression of women in those times. and it was explained to me that that’s part of what jesus' revolution was about: saving us from a jewish system.
apart from these ideas encouraging anti-semitism (which was not what jesus was about it. he loved his heritage and was a proud rabbi), they’re not entirely true.
a few fun facts:
– there were only three crimes punishable by death in ancient hebrew: murder, idolatry, and adultery. these were considered crimes against the harmony of the entire nation, where the corruption seeped beyond the individual and into the backbone of the whole community.
– in an adulterous relationship in ancient hebrew times, both the man and the woman could be charged. not just the woman. that’s clear in both deut 22:22 and lev 20:10. and a myriad of other texts.
– a married man could sleep with an unmarried woman, and it wasn’t considered adultery. but if a married woman slept with an unmarried man? adultery.
– if you suspected your ‘partner’ to be having an affair, you had to prove it. and to accuse two people of it, two others had to witness it and be prepared to testify.
– proceedings for these offenses were taken seriously. they weren’t a “quick let’s stone em’” party that went from 0-100 in 10 seconds flat.
i say all that to say that the story about jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery really has nothing to do with s*x and everything to do with politics and the abuse of power.
we know from john 7 (and yesterday's post) that the religious leaders had had it with jesus. he was making trouble for them, exposing them and their corruption.