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.

Now I think that's the point at which the woman was born again. You say, “Well, why do you think that?" I think that because of the results. You begin to see it in her life. She didn't understand a whole lot at this point, I imagine, though by the blessing of the Holy Spirit, she was beginning to understand what was important. This woman really did understand that Jesus was the Messiah, and therefore if he spoke as the Messiah, what he had to say was true.