How Can it Be?

I’m reading through the Gospel of John. Just this morning I came across the account of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in chapter eight. Here’s how I imagine a conversation between Jesus and the woman.

“I am a bruised reed, a dimly burning wick. The crowd of men call for my stoning. I cannot stand for my trembling. I fall at your feet, resigned to my fate.

“Their demands do not fluster You. Instead, look, You write in the dirt while they wait for Your judgment. But really, what choice do You truly have? Although I can’t read the words You form, I know the Law. I know this is my last day.

“As they dragged me to the Temple, I heard their plans to discredit You, to force You into a decision that would damn You in the Roman’s eyes and to reduce You in the people’s eyes, no matter what You say.”

“The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her,” the Master says.

“Surely, it is the old man, the respected elder, who will hurl the stone first. He fingers the stone in his hand, measures the heft of it. But his stone thuds to the ground. He turns and the crowd parts for him to leave the Temple square.”

How can this be?

“A storm of stones fall to the ground, and one by one the men all leave. “I saw in their faces that Your answer surprised them. You revealed their shame and took on mine.

“Lord, what has happened here? How can this be?

“They will be back, Lord. They will find a way to get Rome to do their bidding, and who will carry my sin then?”

“Go,” You say, “and from now on do not sin.”

“My sin sickens me, Lord, for it condemns You. Even so—You must forgive me this, Lord: I am so very grateful that You took my penalty this day.”

What else would the woman say to Jesus this day?



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