Some people brought a woman to Jesus and said, “She has committed adultery. It is written in the ancient scriptures, that she should be stoned to death. What do you think?”
Jesus was sitting on the bank of a river.
He must have fallen deep in thought: “If I tell them to stone her to death, it will be violence.” Then what will happen to Jesus’ principle of love? “And if I say no, pardon her, people will be angry. People will say you are speaking against our ancient religion, you are repudiating our ancient scriptures.”
In reality that is what people wanted. The people had come just to stone Jesus with these stones if he said to pardon her, because he is speaking in opposition to our religious scriptures. And if he says to stone her, we will kill this woman and then say to Jesus: “What happened to your love? To your compassion? Where has your compassion gone? Where has your love gone? It was all phony talk.”
But they did not know what Jesus will answer. Jesus said the ancient scriptures are right. They must be right. Take up stones and kill this woman — but let only those throw stones who have never committed adultery nor who have ever even thought of committing adultery.
And the five who had stood before the villagers, probably all mayors and members of the municipal committee, quickly retreated into the crowd. Who wants trouble? The whole village knew. Everyone’s mischief was known. And if they hadn’t committed adultery they certainly had thought of it. To find a man who has not thought of adultery is difficult, one who has not been infatuated, who has not been attracted. All quietly moved back. Slowly slowly the people who had come with stones in their hands let the stones fall where they stood. And slowly slowly people began to disappear.
Evening was falling, the sun was setting. Just as the sun set and it started getting dark, people escaped from there. The woman was left behind, alone. The woman put her head at Jesus’ feet and said, “Give me whatsoever punishment you want. I am an adulteress. I accept it. I am a sinner. And your compassion has overwhelmed my heart. Whatsoever punishment you want to give…”
Jesus said, “Who am I to mete out punishments? Who am I to stand between you and your god? You know, you know what you need to do, and your god knows. I am not going to make any judgement. If you feel you have done something bad, then don’t do it any more. And if it feels alright to you then continue. The one to decide is god. The final decision will be between you and god. There is no intermediary. Go now.”
Consider what he is saying. A famous statement of Jesus is: “Resist not evil.” Not even evil! Why? If god is allowing it to happen, there must be some reason. Wake up within, live within. But the true thread of life emerges in you.
Osho – Death is Divine