John 8 proves Jesus did away with God's Law
Many believers think God's law (torah: His instructions for life and blessing) has been done away with; some say that John 8 when the woman caught in the act of adultery is proof that Yeshua/Jesus did away with the law and ushered in the New Covenant which did away with the law. However is that what really happened? Lets take a look at John 8... "But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”"
Now at first glance it seems Jesus did go against the Law of God which required those who committed adultery to be stoned. It also appears Yeshua's statement “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” implies following 'the Law' is sin! Can this really be the case? If this is the case then it also supports the position held by a lot of believers that we can no longer judge anyone. However this creates conflict with many other scriptures in the New Testament, mainly...
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
We cannot receive correction or reproof with judging our actions against the standard of God's word. Even Jesus stated that we MUST judge here in this scripture...
John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
So lets dig deeper into John 8 and see what is really going on...
When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus "what do you say?" They were hoping to catch Him in going against God's word - if they did, then He would be seen as false teacher, a heretic who went against God's law and would be discredited & driven out. If this happened then no Israelite would follow him. However this was not the case.
So what happened? Why didn't the scribes and Pharisees accuse Jesus of abolishing and doing away with God's law which was given by Him to Moses and the people? Why wasn't the woman put to death? If she was not punished for adultery would that not be considered a sin as well? Yes. So is there another option we missed?
Yes, the scribes and Pharisees were partially correct. You see for the crime of adultery there needed to be two people but they only brought the woman. Take a look at the following scripture...
"The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death." Leviticus 20:10
According to God's instructions both parties found in the act of adultery needed to be brought forward. The fact that the scribes and Pharisees only brought the woman proved their dishonesty. We also need to consider Deuteronomy 19:15...
“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established."
For the law to be upheld there needed to be 2 or 3 witnesses that needed to see the actual act of adultery being committed. We also know from early Jewish writings that those 2 or 3 witnesses not only had to witness the sinful act but it was their duty to confront the people and remind them of God's instructions about committing adultery. In other words they had to warn these people and it seems they did not. This is something I think the scribes and Pharisees did not do. Why? Because they didn't want to uphold the law but misuses a portion of it to try and trap the Messiah into sinning. They took God's instruction (His law) from being something that brought life and blessing, twisted it and tried to trap the Messiah at the expense of a woman's life. This perhaps the reason why Yeshua said the following...
"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12
If we looked at this verse by itself (and out of context) this might seem a nice uplifting verse but Yeshua said this to rebuke the scribes and pharisees for their perversion of God's word. That should give us pause and be a reminder that we study His word and not take it out of context or misapply it to ourselves or others. Lets look at the conclusion of this encounter.
When the dust settled and only Yeshua and the woman were alone here is what happened.
"10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Its interesting that the adversary the devil accuses people but when the Messiah steps in as the one who takes away our sin, there is no more accuser; there is no more sin. When we have an encounter with the Messiah our life changes and we are no longer working against God's instructions but living the life that brings blessing by obeying those instructions from a circumcised heart. So when we look at what we believe, let us remember to study and show ourselves approved; to not hold fast to the doctrines and traditions of men but rather the good doctrine of God and His word that lasts forever.