BY REV. DORAL PULLEY
Reference – John 8:5
The Jewish religious leaders brought to Jesus Christ a woman who was allegedly caught in the very act of adultery. We say allegedly because if they caught her in the act of adultery, where was the man with whom she was committing adultery?
They reminded Jesus Christ of the Law of Moses which commanded her to be stoned to death and then inquired what he thought should be done. They were attempting to create a mental dilemma for Jesus Christ. If he said, “stone her to death” then he would have been sexist by holding women to a different standard of morality than men. If he said, “let her go” then he would have been insubordinate to the Law.
Jesus Christ demonstrated mental fitness by giving them an answer that they were not expecting. He said, “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone (John 8:7).” Then he stooped down and wrote on the ground giving them an opportunity to process what he said. Eventually, all of the men from the oldest to the youngest fled the scene.
In addition to saying something of substance that challenges people to think, mental fitness is giving people a chance to process what we have said and come to their own conclusions. Although Jesus Christ knew that none of the men were qualified to stone her, he asked the woman where her accusers were to reassure her that she was cleared of her wrongdoing. Without judgment, he encouraged her to learn and grow from the experience.
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity Temple of Truth Church, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.