“Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me” (Psalm 138:7, NLT).
ACCORDING To a report published in Christianity Today, Some Chinese high schools use an ethics book that completely changes the story we find in John 8:3-11. The Chinese edition says that when an adulterous woman wastaken before Jesus, the Master demanded that the law be kept and He was the one to begin stoning the guilty woman.”
Of course, we could consider what is said in the book as blasphemy (and it actually is blasphemy); however, we cannot overlook the fact that the Law of Moses demanded that the woman be stoned without mercy (see Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:21). However, contrary to what was expected, Jesus did not utter a single word of condemnation against the woman and simply said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Instead of stoning her, Christ decided to for- give her.
I am tempted to think the scribes and Pharisees would have had greater appreciation for the version of the story that ends with the sinner’s death. And I wonder: Which ending would we have wanted? In general, overlooking the “weakness of [our] human nature” (Romans 6:19, NLT), we become executioners of those who are simply as weak as we are. How many times have we raised our voices and hands against those who have been caught “red-handed?”
However, while the whole multitude delighted in seeing that poor woman put to shame and her dignity crushed to pieces, our kind Master treated her with respect and dignity. As Ellen G. White says, Christ “did not censure human weakness,’” and therefore He did not utter words that deepened the woman’s guilt. Contrary to what we often think, He deals “gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray” (Hebrews 5:2, NIV).
In the experience of the woman from John 8 we see the fulfillment of the promise found in Psalm 138, verse 7: “Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me” (NLT).
The God who saved the adulterous woman is the same today; regardless of our troubles, He will also save us with His right hand.