Pronouncement of court verdict normally goes in the expected line i.e. acquits the innocent and punishes the guilty. However, the verdict pronounced by Jesus in John 8 surprised everyone:
The Setting (vs. 1-3): The incident took place in the morning after Jesus returned from Mount of Olive. Possibly, after spending time alone with his Father at the mountain side, he came straight to the temple court. Often Jesus showed his love for the Father by his love for the house of the God. At one occasion, when his parents were looking for him, he said, “Don’t you know that I will be in my Father’s house?” Indeed, our love for God is often reflected by our love for God’s house and his people.
On seeing Jesus, people gathered around the temple to listen to him. In customary style of a ‘rabbi’ he sat down and began to teach them about the kingdom of God. They must have been relishing his words and teaching. Suddenly, the calm and peaceful setting was disrupted by and ugly and violent scene. A woman caught in the act of adultery was mercilessly dragged into the temple court by an angry crowd of religious leaders of the time – the scribes and the Pharisees.
The Accusation (vs. 4-6): According to the Law of Moses sin of adultery invites death penalty by stoning (Lev. 20:10). Citing the law, the accusers asked Jesus to pronounce his verdict as per his judgment. While acting by the letter of the law externally, there seemed serious flaws internally. If moved by righteous indignation, where was the man involved in the same crime? Why this discrimination? Further, their action was prompted by evil intension of trapping and finding ground to arrest Jesus. Let us beware!