John 8: 2-11

If you search for today’s scripture passage in other than the King James Version, you may have difficulty finding it. More modern versions of the Bible include it in brackets or even in a footnote rather than the text.

The explanation given by scholar Bart D. Ehrman in his book, Misquoting Jesus, is that this story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. It is thought that it was a well-known story in the oral tradition added in the margin of a later manuscript by a scribe.

However it came to be part of our Bible, I am glad that it was included. It teaches us, as Jesus taught the scribes and Pharisees, that it is more important to focus on our own sins, rather than the sins of others. We have all fallen short of God’s plan for us and can only be saved by His grace.

This story is yet another beautiful example of Jesus using his wits to answer a question from those whose intentions were to entrap him. By his response, “Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her,” he did not show disrespect for the ancient law of Moses, but instead showed love, mercy and forgiveness toward even one accused of a capital offense.

Prayer: Dear God, during this Lenten season and throughout the rest of the year, enable us to resist being judgmental of others, but rather to seek repentance for our own sins and to seek your mercy and forgiveness to us.

Dan Stevens