We have heard this parable many times. For most people I think our thoughts focus on what was Jesus writing in the sand. Was it words? Or wavy lines? Was he giving the Pharisees time to think? Who among you has not sin cast the first stone? That is a powerful challenge. The truth is we do not know what Jesus wrote in the sand.
Once we accept that part of the parable our next question is, why is the woman being condemned? Where is the man? Did he not also commit adultery? For some reason it is not the man that is at fault but the woman. And in Jewish law it is the woman who can be killed. Jesus writes in the sand, each of the woman’s accusers leave. Jesus tells the woman he does not condemn her and she should go and sin no more. It appears that everything is now back to normal.
But is it? This was a trap to accuse Jesus but people’s lives were put into very harmful positions. The woman told to go and sin no more – did her husband accept her back. It appears many people knew of this adulterous affair so he must have known too. What about the woman’s family or her husband’s family? They would have known of her adulterous affair. Did they accept her back? If she had children, what do they think of their mother? It seems that there is no way for this woman to go back to any kind of normal life. Her life has been destroyed.
I have worked with couples who suffer greatly from spousal infidelity. It takes time for healing to happen. Often it will take a year or more for couples to reconcile and that is if they have professional help. You just cannot ignore what has happened. There must be much discussion to establish trust in this marriage.
This parable does not have an end. Depending on your life experiences everyone will have a different opinion of how to live your life after such a traumatic accusation. Go and sin no more is just the first step.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen