Whatever the sins of those who would come in faith and believe on him, he died for all of them. He died for the sin of adultery, for murder, for pride, for anger, for arrogance, for rebellion, and for every other sin that we can and do commit. All those are the sins for which Jesus died. When Jesus, in compassion, stands before you and says, "Neither do I condemn you," it's because he bore that condemnation himself. That's the gospel, you see, and that's what these legalistic teachers of the law never understood. This is not to say that the law isn't important. The law has a great purpose. It's given by God. It points out our sin. It shows we need a Savior. But the law doesn't save. That's why Jesus Christ came, in order that he might save you.

If in response to their question Jesus had said that the law should be carried out, the people would have said, “What kind of a Savior is that? Why is he merciful toward some people and not to others?” So not only is it a serious question, but it also involves the status of any human being before God. You may not have committed the woman's sin, though you may well have, but you've committed many other sins—in thought, word, and deed. The law of God, of course, requires death for sin, but a spiritual death, banishment from God forever. And the question is how can God be faithful to his justice and also to his compassion and mercy? How can he save the sinner?

Those accusing this woman of adultery had to have seen every single detail. How would you ever accomplish that? How would you ever get witnesses to see the very act? The only way that could possibly have happened is that it must have been a setup. You have to have had your witnesses there ahead of time. You had to put them in the room, hiding behind the drape or station them at the door, peeking in the keyhole. It couldn't have happened in any other way.

You also have the development of the theology of salvation, as we’ve seen with the witness of John the Baptist, as well as in Jesus’ discussions with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. We saw that teaching is essential. We see the same idea in chapter 8. In verse 2, we're told that at dawn Jesus appeared in the temple courts where the teachers taught and where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. Now, notice verse 3, where it says that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.

This week we are looking at a story from John 8. Before we go on to look at this particular encounter, it might be helpful to give a brief outline of John’s Gospel up to this chapter where this famous story is found.