At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:9-11

One of the interesting aspects to this entire episode is that Jesus never condemned the woman. He didn’t deny at all that she was a sinner but instead had compassion on her. Compassion in the midst of people pressuring Him to do otherwise was quite remarkable.

Let’s face it, the woman’s accusers had no compassion on her and had already cast judgement. They might have been more believable if they had also brought the man she was caught with, but it really wasn’t about the woman or prostitution or sin. It was about Jesus and what He would do in that circumstance.

They brought her to trap him. Instead, they were the ones trapped, trapped by their own lack of compassion and self-righteous attitude. We would say they were being “clever by half,” meaning they thought they were wise but He showed them how utterly foolish they were.

We can certainly take a lesson from Jesus on this. We should err on the side of compassion when possible.

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