A woman caught in adultery encounters Jesus

Scripture Reference: John 8:1-11
I am writing this in the first person as if I were the woman who encountered Jesus when the Pharisees hauled her before him.  I invite you to be this woman too. Try to see through her eyes, hear with her ears, and somehow, through this process, encounter the Lord Jesus yourself.
I can’t deny it; I am not perfect and I admit that what I did was wrong. I was married off very young to a man much older than myself. I was more of a social asset for him than a life partner, and he showed me no affection whatsoever. So when a young man started paying me attention I was flattered and taken in my him. To my shame it didn’t take him long to persuade me go to his rooms where he seduced me.
The door flew open! My heart seemed to stop in my chest! Three men burst in and grabbed me by the arms. They didn’t give me any time to rearrange my clothing as they dragged me off crying. I was paralysed with fear, because I knew I would almost certainly be killed. They were Pharisees, and had caught me in the very act of  adultery. I looked despairingly around for my lover; surely he would protect me, or had they arrested him as well? I searched his face, but all I saw was a smirk and and a wink to the men who were dragging me away.  I had been set up and betrayed.
They hauled me down the road and then flung me in a heap before a man I had never seen before. Immediately they challenged him. “Teacher”, they said; “in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” I was petrified with terror. In my peripheral vision I could see men around me stooping to pick up jagged rocks from the side of the dirt road. I looked up at the stranger before me. He had no rock in his hand. There was no look of contempt on his face. Instead, his eyes seemed to reassure me.  Then he bent down and, instead of picking up a rock, he wrote something in the dust with his finger. I couldn’t see clearly from my angle but it looked like a word written in Hebrew. The Pharisees kept on throwing questions at him, harsh and clamouring and eventually he straightened up and I heard him say, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped once more and wrote another word in the sand. The crowd lent in and peered at the words he had written.
My heart was racing, my eyes were awash with hot tears of shame and terror and I was at the point of passing out, yet I was aware that something else, something strange was happening. The men had stopped shouting and a supernatural silence had descended on the crowd. There were no sounds at all, not even a dog barking or a child crying. Then I heard a muffled thud, and another, and yet another and I  saw small puffs of dust rising all around me as one by one the men dropped the rocks they were carrying. Then they started to leave, the older men first, and then the others, until only my ‘saviour’ and I were left. He looked down at me and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” I said. Then in a voice thick with compassion he said, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” He reached down, took me by the hand and helped me to stand.

Now dear reader, what has Jesus revealed to you about Himself in this encounter? Take time to see the scene as though you are the woman he has saved from humiliation and possibly even a painful death. What is Jesus showing you about how he regards you?

Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler



5 thoughts on “A woman caught in adultery encounters Jesus”

  1. Looking through the eyes of this women as if I were her, I first felt great shame and regret, as if nothing could take away this unforgivable act. I would be judged and condemned forever… how could I live with myself? Then this kind stranger, who displays unfathomable wisdom, shows me kindness and compassion, without judging me. It was if I got another chance! I feel set free, as if this sin no longer ties me down… what joy!

    In a moment, I thought my life was over, but now I more alive than ever.

  2. When I look into the eyes of Jesus I see Him as someone who exudes love and at the same time One full of wisdom and authority.He forgives me unconditionally of my sin and shows me that no longer does sin have to be my master.He is now my new Master!

  3. I see Jesus as drawing me away from personal disgrace and shame, restoring to me my dignity and my value as a woman, who often feels disregarded in a world dominated by men. His love and forgiveness harbours me, providing me sanctuary and protection.

  4. Jesus, You look at me with love in your eyes when I deserve judgement. You are at first confusing to me because I only understand contempt and judgement from my elders. I hear Your words to the elders but Im still too afraid to look up, and then there is silence. My Saviour, because You are that to me, You don’t judge me and You protected me from those who presume to judge me! Your love and forgiveness overpower me! Your way amazes me and has set me free to change completely. You have given me a second chance and a fresh and forgiven beginning. I clamour to follow You because I am forgiven! Jesus, in Your power, fill me completely so that I can walk in your holiness and always please You. I want to see Your face ever before me. I am free!

  5. Looking into the eyes of Jesus I see his love beyond words, his knowing of my pain, shame and guilt and I know without doubt that I have found what I was looking for so desperately in all the wrong places. As I receive his love I feel so accepted and whole that I am compelled to reach out to those still searching and hurting with the same love that Jesus reached out to me.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.