Hope for the Broken John 8:1-11 is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
In John 7, we talked about how Jesus went directly into the lion’s den when He went to Jerusalem and was confronted by the people. He told them over and over again that He was sent by the Father to save the world.
In vs 16, He said “My teaching isn’t mine, but is from the one who sent me. If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.” No matter how dangerous the situation was, we learned that Jesus always pointed people back to the Father.
In our reading today of John 7:53-8:1-11, the story will continue, but before we read these verses let’s give them some context to it. Our reading today will be about the woman that was taken in the act of adultery and brought to Jesus.
Read John 7:53-8:1-11
Once again we see Jesus in conflict with the Jewish religious leaders, but this time, they set a trap, hoping to get enough evidence to arrest Him and get Him out of the way. However, as we just read, their plot failed. What we witness in these verses is a contrast between Jesus’s graciousness and the wickedness of the people.
The Feast of Tabernacles had ended, but Jesus took advantage of the opportunity to minister to the pilgrims in the temple. During the feast, word had quickly spread that Jesus was not only attending, but also openly teaching in the temple. The scribes and Pharisees most likely knew where He would be and took advantage of this situation to get Him. Was this a scheme, would they really have caught a couple in the act of adultery? The law states in Lev 20:10 that both guilty parties be stoned.
The Jewish leaders of course were trying to pin Jesus into a corner with a dilemma. If He said yes, then the woman must be stoned. Then what would happen to His reputation as the friend of publicans and sinners? The common people would no doubt abandon Him and would never accept His gracious message of forgiveness. But, if He said No, then the woman should not be stoned. Then He was openly breaking the law and was subject to arrest. On more than one occasion, the religious leaders tried to create division between Jesus against Moses and now they seemed to have the perfect challenge.
Instead of passing judgment on the woman, Jesus passed judgment on the Judges! No doubt He was indignant at the way they treated the woman. He was also concerned that such hypocrites should condemn another person and not judge themselves. We do not know what He wrote on the dirt floor, but we do know it was the finger of God writing it.
It was required by Jewish law that the accusers cast the first stones Duet 17:7. Jesus was not asking that sinless men judge the woman, for He was the only sinless person present. If our judges today had to be perfect, judicial benches would be empty. He was referring to the particular sin of the woman, a sin that can be committed in the heart as well as with the body. Convicted by their own consciences, the accusers quietly left the scene, and Jesus was left alone with the woman. He forgave her and warned her to sin no more.
We must not misinterpret this event to mean that Jesus was easy on sin or that He contradicted the law. In order for Jesus to forgive this woman meant that He had to one day die for her sins. Forgiveness is free, but it is not cheap.
Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law so that no one could justly accuse Him of opposing its teachings or weakening its power. By applying the law to the woman and not to themselves, the Jewish leaders were violating both the letter and the spirit of the law, and they thought they were defending Moses.
The law was given to reveal sin (Romans 3:20) and we must be condemned by the law before we can be cleansed by God’s grace. Law and grace do not compete with each other, they complement each other. Nobody was ever saved by keeping the law, but nobody was ever saved by grace who was not first indicted by the law. There must be conviction before there can be conversion.
Is Christ's gracious forgiveness an excuse to sin? Jesus made it clear to the women to go and sin no more. We would hope that an experience of gracious forgiveness would motivate a person to live a holy and obedient life to the glory of God.
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