The Woman Caught in Adultery
At dawn (upper right corner) Jesus goes to the temple courts where Jewish leaders bring him a woman caught in adultery (upper left corner). They try to trap Jesus by asking him if she should be stoned. He answers by writing on the ground. Everyone leaves without condemning her, and Jesus tells her to go and sin no more.
Jesus speaks to the people saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Star of David in the center of the painting represents Jesus’ claim to be from from above, sent by the Father.
He tells the Jews, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man (middle of left side), then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
The Jewish leaders claim to be Abraham’s children (lower left corner) but Jesus says the devil is their father (snake encircling them in lower right corner). They accuse Jesus of being demon possessed (middle of bottom edge).
When he tells then, “Before Abraham was born, I am,” they pick up stones to stone him. But Jesus hides and slips away from the temple grounds. (Lower right corner)
[Notice the shackles on the woman caught in adultery and then on the Jewish leaders who are themselves slaves to sin. The chapter begins and ends with the intention to stone sinners.]