credit: Myla Grier

Jesus is the Original Clapback King

Myla Grier


I was reading the Gospel according to St. John (Chapter 8) where the scribes and Pharisees (who were scripturally knowledgeable people) brought a woman accused of adultery to Jesus, while he was teaching in the temple.

My first response was, “Well, what about the man? She wasn’t “adulterering” alone, was she?” Typical to the time and place, the woman would be the one to pay the price of sexual sins. But my Man Jesus was having None. Of. That. He knew this interruption wasn’t about adultery. Rather the men who were considered to be the most Holy and Righteous brought the woman to Jesus in an attempt to “catch Him out there.” While Jesus was teaching. In the temple.

Who does that?

Imagine being in a science lecture while a well-respected teacher is breaking down the difference between cholesterol and triglycerides, when a student rushes to the front of the class exclaiming, “Johnny is gay!” while pulling Johnny by the arm.

Collective annoyance would resound.

When the Pharisees and scribes pulled this stunt at the temple, surely all those who gathered — people always gathered to hear what Jesus had to say — sat with bated breath to hear Jesus’ response to such rudeness and disrespect. Just so we’re clear, the scribes and Pharisees interrupted Jesus’ teaching and brought a woman accused of adultery in the middle of the circle (the court). They tried to trip up Jesus.

As they walked through the crowd with this woman, a spectacle was made. People had to get out of the way so the accusers and the accused could get to Jesus. Once they got to the middle and had Jesus’ full attention along with the crowd, they made their pronouncement, “Teacher (they got that part right), this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.” I can imagine they had so many other things to call him, but he was teaching in the temple. Had they called Him something else, more than likely a spontaneous uproar from his “students” aka the crowd would have occurred.