10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10, King James Version)
Satan is called the “accuser of our brethren”. He is pictured as standing before God accusing the brethren continuously. In Zec 3, we see Satan standing before the Angel of the LORD in order to accuse Joshua the high priest.
If we have an issue with a brother, Jesus outlined specific steps to take (Mt 18:15-20). The idea is restoration of the relationship, i.e. reconciliation (cf Mt 5:23-24).
God’s way builds up. Satan’s way tears down. God’s way restores. Satan’s way destroys.
We spoke of the leaven of false doctrine and hypocrisy last week. Is this related to an accusatory spirit?
2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
When they say “Moses in the law commanded”, they are giving a teaching, i.e. a doctrine. Was their doctrine true?
10And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10, King James Version)
Here we see that both the man and the woman were to be put to death, presumably by stoning (cf v 2).
20But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
21Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
22If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. (Deuteronomy 22:20-22, King James Version)
Again, the context suggests that the adulterers should die by stoning. So, was the doctrine of the Pharisees correct?
Obviously, there is a problem if they are claiming to be following the Law of Moses. Where was the man? Isn’t he to die as well?
Were their efforts to follow the Law sincere? Or, were they play acting?
It is impossible to say for certain what Jesus was writing on the ground. Some believe it may have been names or even dates and times of liaisons with the woman. Perhaps He wrote the Law as it was actually stated, underlining the word “both”. Whatever it was must’ve pricked their hearts eventually.
7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Who was supposed to cast the first stone?
7The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. (Deuteronomy 17:7, King James Version)
OK, so here’s a woman caught “in the very act” of adultery. Now, who do you suppose would have witnessed this? Perhaps the adulterer? Why was it that none were “without sin”? Could it be that the eye witnesses had sinned with her?
Were they hypocrites?
9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Far from Jesus doing away with the Law, He upholds it the entire time. He even tells the woman to “Go, and sin no more.”
The Pharisees, however, weren’t interested in justice. They weren’t interested in keeping the Law. They were interested in accusing the woman and in turn being able to accuse Jesus.