Week 5 – Day 1 – Monday
Read JOHN 8:1-11 SOAP John 8:10-11
- Why did Jesus not condemn the adulterous woman? What did He tell her to do?
JOHN 8:1-11 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
O – This passage tells of the Pharisees and scribes bringing a woman caught in adultery (in the act – v. 3) to Jesus to be judged. Well, not necessarily to be judged, but to “test” Jesus (v. 6). They said that she had been caught in the act, and in the Law, it said that she had to be stoned. “So – what do you say?” (v. 5)
However, this is interesting, as the Mosaic Law stated that it had to be BOTH parties that had to be judged and stoned. “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. “ (Deut. 22:22) Only the woman was brought to Jesus!
This was not for Jesus to judge, but to test Him. Whatever He said, they could hold it against Him. “ If Jesus advocated not executing the woman, the lawyers and Pharisees could charge Him with teaching the people to violate the law. If He recommended executing her, He would contradict His own reputation for being gracious and forgiving (cf. Luke 5:20; 7:47). Moreover He would alienate Himself from the Jews. That decision might have gotten Him in trouble with the Roman authorities too (cf. 18:31).” (Constable’s Notes – Lumina) Either way – they “had” Him. SO they thought.
Jesus didn’t accuse her. He simply wrote on the ground with his finger. They continued questioning Him, so He stood up and said, “, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (v. 7) This was also to fulfill the Mosaic Law, from Deut. 17:7, “The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. “ And He bent over and continued writing. He didn’t accuse them. He didn’t stare them down. He let them think over what He said. And – since they didn’t qualify (being without sin), they began leaving, starting with the elder ones. “Jesus’ reply put the dilemma back on His accusers’ shoulders. If they proceeded to stone the woman, they were claiming that they had not sinned. If they did not stone her, they would be admitting that they had sinned. Jesus now took the place of the woman’s defense attorney as well as her judge.” (Constable’s Notes – Lumina)
Jesus was left with the woman, standing there. No one left. No one there to pass judgment. No one to throw the stones. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” No one. Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (v. 11)
This summary from Lumina was striking. “He asked if no one who was condemning her remained. He did not ask her if she was guilty. Evidently she was. As the judge in her case, He showed more interest in her prosecutors than in her guilt. Without prosecutors Jesus dismissed the case. This was His prerogative as her judge. He only issued her a warning. She would have to stand before Him again in the future, but this was not the time that He wanted to pass judgment on her (cf. 3:17). He gave her mercy and time to change her ways (cf. 1:14). Thus He was not “easy on sin.” The ultimate reason He could exempt her from condemnation is that He would take her condemnation on Himself and die in her place (cf. Rom. 8:1).
“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.”
A – What is my take-away from today??
- It is not my place to judge, or bring attention to someone’s sin. Only my own. I see the Pharisee’s and scribes pointing out the sin of the woman – and yet they themselves were guilty of sin, as they walked away when Jesus said, “He without sin, cast the first stone….”. No one remained. Do I call attention to someone’s sin – and yet know that I, too, am guilty of sin? OH, that I would show the grace and mercy of our Savior!
- Do I allow Jesus to speak into the lives of the people around me – instead of ME pointing out sin? Jesus was the one who ministered to the woman. He showed grace and mercy. Grace for extending forgiveness. Mercy for not allowing the punishment for adultery. However, He said, “Go – and sin no more.”
- It is JESUS who speaks into the lives of those who sin. He told her, “Go and sin no more.” How much do I trust Him to work in the lives of those around me? Do I pray, really pray, that God will work in their hearts?
- How do I balance love and approval? I struggle over this. Where does the balance lie when there is open, obvious sin? What would Jesus do here? The woman in this passage had open, obvious sin – she was caught in it. Yet – in Jesus ‘ love, He did not condemn her. He told her to sin no more.
Today, I think back to my application questions from Friday. I think about that meal that we prepared for our neighbors. I think about the conversation that we had. A simple “get to know you” conversation. But it went beyond that. Her question haunts me. “Is he happy?” What an opening for further conversation. Also, the opportunity to share that it is not rules and regulations, but a relationship with God that is important. Where do we go from here? How do we show love, and acceptance, and God’s heart to our neighbors? How do we do this without seeming to approve a certain lifestyle?
P – Oh, God, I need Your wisdom! And – I need Your love. I don’t want to be a Pharisee. I want to show – and live – and demonstrate Your love and mercy and grace. How do I show this to our neighbors? What do YOU want me to do – or to say? Father God, You have given me a heart for these women. You have given me love for them. You surprise me with Your love – and this heart. Yet – only You can bring true Love. Only You can bring forgiveness and grace. Only You can bring “no condemnation.” But that also includes new life and forgiveness and transformation – even if it is not recognized or desired now. Father, speak into the lives of those we encounter – and give us Your love and Your Heart. Thank You for the beginning of relationship and even friendship. Help me NOT to compromise Your Word, Your standards, Your desires – even while establishing friendships with neighbors. Help me to live out Your love. Help me to show Your unconditional love – and Your desire for a relationship with each one of Your children, even if they don’t know You. Yet. Help me to live, today, in Your grace and mercy – and to demonstrate that to those around me.
No Condemnation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0NgARG139w