What Can She Tell Us?<br/>

Author: Julie Cosgrove
Publisher: CrossWords Press
Published: 2011-03-01
ISBN(s) 9781257518265
Language(s): English
Pages: 47 pages
Category: Non-Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Bible Study, Christianity, Art & Creativity Read Excerpt >

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 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. 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, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."


This is a familiar story, one we have heard often in church. The concentration seems to be  first on Jesus and His response. Volumes have been written speculating what he wrote in the sand and why. Volumes more point to the fact that we are not called to judge each other, that none of us are good enough to take on that role.

Let's look at the passage again.

Jesus doesn't wander onto the scene of her stoning. She is drug into the midst of a crowd gathered around Him as He teaches. The authorities are using her as a trap to test Jesus' wisdom. Yet, the woman almost seems incidental. Where is she in all of this? Crouched and cowering in the dirt, awaiting a fate that for her time and her crime was warranted? No. She stands! She stands before Jesus and responds boldly. She doesn't fall to her knees, blubber out pleas for Him to forgive her. Nor does she wipe her tears with the hem of his garment. Can you speculate as to why she doesn't?

There is no doubt she did what her accusers said, is there? The passage says she was caught in the act. It never says she's remorseful about it. There are no verses telling us she was a believer in Jesus or a follower of His teachings. Nothing indicates she has a clue who this man drawing in the dirt is until she sees His authority in action then watches the people who accused her walk away, defeated in their efforts. Even then,she calls him Lord - or teacher. In Biblical terms, that is like us saying, "Sir." It was not an acknowledgement of faith, but it was a beginning.

Jesus demonstrates to the scribes and Pharisees, the crowd and the woman that everyone is a sinner. No one can cast a stone. Then He stands, looks her in the eye and commands her to go and sin no more.

Did she go away, converted and become a different woman? Did she turn her life around? Did she join the women who followed Jesus as he traveled with his disciples? We are never told.

What can we learn from her? 

First, it does no good to deny our sin to others or to God. God doesn't want to hear platitudes of how we promise to never do it again, or we will do this, if only He will do that. No plea bargaining. Instead, when we are caught in the sin, our job is to come and stand before Him. Christ initiates the forgiving act. That is why He died on the Cross. It is freely offered. It is up to us to humbly receive it or proudly reject it.

There is only one way she could do as Jesus commanded —to go and sin no more.There is only one way any of us can do that. Stand before Jesus each time we've sinned. It was not her faith that saved her, but Her Savior.

Secondly, God can even use people who do not believe in Him to teach us lessons of His mercy and grace. He can show us how to see them through His eyes. At least the scribes and Pharisees did one thing right, even if they did not realize what they were doing. They brought her to Jesus.


1. Have you ever been publicly accused of doing something wrong? Were the accusations accurate? How did you feel? Humiliated? Defiant? Angry? Anxious to defend yourself?

2.  Is it possible to forgive the person and not the act?

3. The next time you sin, how will you approach Jesus?



What Can She Tell Us?   by   Julie Cosgrove   |   See Bio >
Every woman has a story. These eleven unnamed women in the New Testament are no different. Learn how their encounters with Our Lord and his dsiciples can enrich your encoutner with Him.Each woman's tale is discussed with ample space for reflective notes.

I thoroughly believe that the characters in the Bible can be examples for us today. That is why the stories were told. They not only point us to Jesus, but how we  should act in His presence, act with each other. In the pages of the New Testament were real women with real hurts, struggles, shortcomings, and at times, great faith. Each has a lesson to relate to us even now, thousands of years from the time they last breathed a breath on this earth.

There are well known women in the New Testament - Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary, Lazarus's sisters.  Just like their sisters in the Old Testament, Ruth, Naomi, Sarah, and Esther, and the Proverbs 31 woman, their faith and sacrifice are noteworthy examples for us today.

But there are lesser known women, some who are never named, and are only known as "the woman", who have just as great a tale to tell. Their actions and reactions to Jesus and his disciples can also be a  testimony for women of all ages and in every age, and are worth telling until the day when He comes back for His own.

Perhaps you will identify with all of them, perhaps only one or two. You may even thank God you cannot identify with some of them. But even so, each is recorded in Scripture for a reason. Their stories are told for our benefit, and are worthy to ponder. Maybe, just maybe, they will help you see how you can walk closer with your Savior.

And is that not our place on this earth? To witness and learn from each other what our encounters with the Savior and other Christians have meant to us? We each have a story to tell. So did these women. Praise God in Heaven that He guided those who witnessed these women's lives to tell others about them so, eventually, these accounts would be written down for my benefit and for yours. 

As we encounter Christ in our lives, our actions may never make the pages of a book. Yet, the Holy Spirit can use them to write the message of God's love on the hearts of others.

Each of us, I hope, has one or two special women we have known who have shown us God's truth through their daily lives, words and actions. If you do not, ask God to seek them out for you. We women need each other to comfort, instruct, pray and be a witness to each other.

My prayer is that this study will help these lesser known women in the New Testament come more alive to you, as well as be a witness to what a marvelous, loving, powerful and all-knowing God we serve—a God who loves us above all else and in ways we can never fathom, and sees each of us, man, woman and child, as worthy and wonderful. That is a story that needs to be told!

For His sake,

Julie B. Cosgrove


Now write this on a tablet for them, and inscribe it in a book so that it will be there in the future as a permanent witness Isaiah 30:8


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