She felt herself being carried along by the mob, like driftwood bobbing on the waves. The most intimate of human moments—and one that she definitely had hoped would always be a secret—had now become glaringly public. She had barely grabbed her clothes. She felt and looked disheveled.
And where was he? Her friend. Her lover. Her downfall. Why did it suddenly look like he was a co-conspirator in destroying her life? The forbidden fruit that had looked so alluring was beginning to taste bitter. She cried. But tears to a mob are but one more thing to taunt.
She feared for her life. No legal court would have executed her. The Romans had reserved that power for themselves. But would the mob that had burst into her life play by those rules. Anyway she thought, she might as well be dead. Her life was ruined.
She overheard them, “If he sides with Moses, we’ll condemn him to the Romans. And if he sides with the Romans, we’ll condemn him to the people.” They looked so pompous—they had their large, scripture-box phylacteries and long blue tassels on their garments. They, the powerful, had trapped her to be the bait in a bigger trap. So the kangaroo-court of a mob made its way to Jesus.
“Teacher,” the spokesman began, “this woman was caught in the very act of adultery.” You could hear the sneer in his voice and see the look of contempt. He continued, “In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such a one. What do you have to say concerning her?”
The air was charged with tension, but Jesus stooping down wrote on the ground. They continued to prod with their question. Jesus stood and said, “Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone at her.”
She flinched thinking it was all over. She had wasted her life. She waited for the first stone. A stone that didn’t come as they all left from the oldest to the youngest.
Jesus looking up said, “Women, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
Having acknowledged his question, she could hardly believe his reply, “Neither do I condemn you. Go—from now on—sin no more!”
To have a second chance! Forgiveness! Good news!
Postscript: I’ve used my imagination to picture the scene — to think about what it might have been like. But let me encourage you to read John 8:3-11. What does it feel like to have a second chance?