The Adulteress Woman (John 8:1-11)
I've used this Thought-provoker with groups of unchurched kids who don't know the Bible, and I've used it with adults with cemetery degrees, it works equally well!
Read John 8:1-11 aloud. Then ask for volunteers to come up and act out the different parts of this passage- they won't have to act as much as they will be asked to think what that person would be thinking or doing at that moment. Assign roles to different students. Assign someone to be Jesus, assign several people to be a group of teachers of The Law & Pharisees, be careful as you assign the woman (make sure it's someone who isn't going to be ridiculed for playing an adulteress woman), and the audience can be the crowd gathered around him.
Ask questions as the story goes on. Try to create discussion (possible answers that you might target are in parenthesis)
"But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group . . ."
- Why did these religious snobs bring this woman to Jesus? (Because they were trying to trap Jesus- vs. 6)
- If they were trying to trap Jesus, and they decided to use this method, how did they go about catching a woman committing adultery? (Maybe the woman was set up?)
- If this was an act of adultery . . . where was the man? (Again- maybe it was a set-up and he was in on it)
- To the woman- Possibly standing there in just a sheet or blanket- How do you feel? (Ashamed, scared of being stoned)
" . . .  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?"  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him."
These guys were trying to get Jesus in a catch 22. If he answered "stone her"- he was in trouble with Roman Law, forbidding local governments to impose the death penalty without permission (which is why they brought Jesus to Pilate later). If he answered "let her go," he would be going against the Mosaic Law.
"But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. . ."
Where has all the attention been since the woman was dragged in here- in other words, who has everybody been staring at? (Probably the woman standing there in a sheet, about to get stoned)
Now that Jesus is writing on the ground, where is all the attention? To the crowd- What are you looking at now? (On what he is writing)
The Bible never tells us what he wrote in the ground- do you think it's important to the story? (No- but it did take the attention off this woman)
To the woman- How do you feel now?
" . . .  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground . . ."
To the religious snobs- What are you thinking now? (Uh oh! Maybe he knows what we did- we can't stone her now)
To the woman- What are you thinking now? (No Way! Am I going to get out of this one?)
To the crowd- What are you thinking? (I'm glad I didn't walk in there with a stone)
" . . .  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. . ."
To the woman- What are you thinking now? ( Thank you, thank you, thank you)
" . . . Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"  "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
Jesus didn't condemn her. He basically said, "I don't care where you've been, but I care where you are going." Jesus is saying the same thing to us. "I don't care where you've been- but I care where you're going." How we walked in the door tonight doesn't matter- how we leave tonight does.