This Christian poem is based on the Bible Story of The Adulterous Woman. John 8:1-11. I titled this poem ‘It Takes Two To Tango’ to highlight the scheme of the religious leaders to trap Jesus, but they overlooked an important element of the Mosaic Law, found in Leviticus Chapter 20, which they were referring to in their accusation of the woman. Where was the guilty man? This is obviously why I chose the feature image of a man and woman dancing! I admire how this passage describes how calmly Jesus deals with this very challenging confrontation with the religious leaders and His response to the woman. Beverley Joy
Early one morning
Jesus was teaching
A crowd of people
In their temple courtyard.
The religious leaders
Who thought they were ‘holy’
And better than anyone else
Brought a woman to Jesus
They had been caught in the act
In bed with another woman’s husband.
They tossed her barely clothed in front of the crowd
Embarrassed, degraded and humiliated.
“She is guilty” they judged her
“Of sin against God’s law”
“To be stoned to death is the punishment.”
“What do you have to say about that?”
Now wait a minute, something is not right
It takes two people to commit adultery?
So where was the man barely clothed
Standing beside her to face the charge?
And where were the two witnesses to the crime
Who are innocent of that same crime
And required to perform the punishment?
Jesus knew they were trying to trick him
Into breaking the law of the land
For only the king could sentence to death
A criminal of which she was not.
She looks at her accusers
Then back to the good teacher
Now teased and scoffed on her behalf
Like a cat teases prey before the kill.
Jesus said nothing in reply to them
But, He knelt down beside her
And wrote with His finger on the stone ground.
They demanded an answer
Over and over
He kept them waiting
Until he stood up.
He looks straight at them
With authority, he spoke
Words of truth to silence
Their evil intent.
“Let the one who has never sinned among you
Throw the first stone at this woman”
Then he knelt down again
And wrote again on the ground.
All her accusers left one by one
Beginning with the oldest
For they knew they dare not say to Him
That they had never sinned.
Her eyes fixed on his dirty hands
As he knelt in the dust beside her
For in her culture men did not kneel
Lower than a woman.
“Who is this man?
Who lowers himself?
Who dirties his hands for me?
Who silenced my accusers?
Even though I am guilty?”
Then, Jesus stood up
And looked straight at her
His eyes spoke gentleness
Love and forgiveness.
“Where are your accusers?
Didn’t they condemn you?”
“No, Lord, not one,” she said.
“Neither do I.
Go, my child,
And change your ways” he said.
His words dripped with grace
Washing away her shame
Filling her heart with true love
Not the foolish love she had known.
Curious, she is drawn to him
“Who is this man?
I want to know?
I’ve heard of Him,
I must learn more.”
Beverley Joy © 2017 of Simply Story Poetry
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here
Read or listen to my poems of Women of the Bible: It Takes Two To Tango The Adulterous Woman of John 8:1-11, She Gave From Her Heart The Woman and the Two Coins Luke 21:1-4, Sweet Temptation Eve Genesis 3, Feast or Famine Ruth and I Am Ruth, ‘Thirst Quenching’ The Woman at the Well, Mary – The Christmas Story Part 2 Four Unusual Women, Part 4 Mary, The Christmas Story Part 5 Mary and Elizabeth, The Busyness Excuse Mary and Martha, Her Touch of Simple Faith The women with the bleeding issue,
John Chapter 8 verses 1-11 and Leviticus Chapter 20
The Zondervan NASB Study Bible 1999 Zondervan Michigan USA
The Gospel According to John An Introduction and Commentary R.V.G. Tasker. 1960 Tyndale Press
Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible 1960. Marshall, Morgan & Scott London
All the Women of the Bible.1967. Herbert Lockyer Zondervan
Backgrounds of Early Christianity Second Edition E. Ferguson. 1993. W.B. Eerdmans Publishing USA