The following article is part of a continuing series on "Ah-Ha! Moments" in the Bible.

I love ah-ha moments. I expect them literally every time I read from the Word. You see, God is not like man when it comes to what He says. Or, I should say, not like me. He doesn’t waste His words. So every book, every chapter, every verse, every word of His Word has been spoken and then written for a purpose.

Would you like to explore one of those ah-ha moments with me now?

A Look Back
In two earlier installments of “Ah-Ha” we looked at Eve (who literally stood naked before God) and Sarah (whose thoughts were exposed to God as though her very mind was naked before Him). We explored what it means to truly stand naked before God, whether naked in our skin, naked in our sin, or naked in our thoughts and emotions. Above all, we learned there is little we can hide from Him.

The Woman Caught In Adultery
It was the Feast of Tabernacles. In the time of Jesus, every good Jewish man and woman went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast, which commemorates the time their ancestors had lived in tents as they wandered in the wilderness. Agriculturally, Sukkot (as it is also called) is a harvest festival, sometimes referred to as the Festival of Ingathering.

Just before the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of the year before His crucifixion, Jesus was laying low when it came to Judea because of those who were already wishing Him dead. But when Sukkot (pronounced sue-COAT) rolled around, He quietly returned to Jerusalem.

Once there, Jesus remained in the shadows, not making much of a fuss so as not to cause any problems or arouse any disturbances. But halfway through the week-long celebration, He went into the temple and began to teach. The people were impressed; the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees were incensed.

They decided to trick the Lord. Somehow (and I often wonder how) they knew of a woman who was — at that very moment — committing the act of adultery. The scripture reads:

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?”[1]

The Great and Wise Teacher
It was a trick. You see in Jesus’ day, a Jew had no say in the corporal punishment of such a crime. That was Rome’s job. So, if Jesus said “stone her” He would have been jutting his jaw at the Roman’s. Not a good move.

But if Jesus had said not to stone her, it would have seemed as though He was flagrantly disregarding the Law, in spite of the fact that the woman’s accusers were taking only the part of the law they wanted to use as their accusation. (The law actually required both parties in the sin be executed, though “stoning” is not specified unless the woman was a betrothed virgin.[2])