From: Good Goats
Changing our image of God from child abuser to child lover was the core of Jesus’s mission. Jesus was always trying to change people’s vengeful image of God. Often Jesus tried to heal on the sabbath, or touch a leper, or forgive someone. But the priests, scribes, and Pharisees would forbid Jesus to do these things because they interpreted literally the vengeful punishment passages of their Bibles which spelled out the consequences of such “illegal” actions.
For example, in the story of the adulterous woman (John 8:5), the scribes and Pharisees want to stone her to death. They justify themselves by telling Jesus, “Moses has ordered us in the law to condemn women like this to death by stoning.” They are referring to the law of Moses (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:20), which says that God orders the vengeful punishment of stoning to death an adulterous woman. If Jesus, like the scribes and Pharisees, read scripture’s vengeful punishment passages literally, he too would have had to join the scribes and Pharisees in stoning the adulterous woman. When he invites the scribes and Pharisees to put down their stones, he is inviting them to stop reading the vengeful punishment passages of the Bible literally.