John 8:3-6 (NIV), “…The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him…”
The other day I was presented some information to which I was asked, “Your thoughts?” I knew the question asked had nothing to do with my thoughts because what I think is of no consequence to the person asking. Yet in my spirit, I knew I was being asked about my thoughts more so to get a reaction regarding the information rather than concern for what I thought about it. I was asked a rhetorical question.
Jesus was presented with a rhetorical question when the Pharisees asked, “Now what do you say?” If Jesus would’ve told the Pharisees to stone the woman, then they would’ve accused Jesus of violating the Mosaic Law. If Jesus directed the Pharisees to execute the woman, then the Pharisees would’ve reported him to the Romans. But, as the scripture says, “They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.” Notwithstanding that the Pharisees had already ignored the law. According to Leviticus 20:20 and Deuteronomy 22:22, the Mosaic Law required both adulterous parties to be stoned and in John 18:31, Romans forbid the Jews to carry out their own executions.
John 8:6-8 (NIV), “…But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground.”
As I was presented with this information, the person kept making statements that, had I not known better, would have triggered a response. I could tell based on the responses I was giving was a direct opposite to what the person wanted to hear. Towards the end of the conversation, I was asked to follow a specific directive because “it’s important to help out X in a time of need as circumstances happened so abruptly,” (paraphrasing). A directive to which this person failed to do 6 months earlier when an individual’s circumstance changed “so abruptly.” Hypocrisy was at work.
Jesus recognized the moral hypocrisy behind the Pharisees, and he responded to them in a way that did not compromise his position. He knew what he was dealing with and acted accordingly. I recognized what I was dealing with and I thank God I was able to respond so as not to comprise my position as well. While my responses may not have been what the person wanted to hear, my conscious is clear.
Dear God, your word says, “ There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs,” (Luke 12:2-3). I pray that anyone who comes in our presence that appears to be helpful and is trying to set a trap for us through their hypocritical spirit, let everything they do through hypocrisy be exposed so that we can continue to live our lives with integrity and without compromise.
In Jesus Name