Intro: On the 10th April 1993 I became a Christian at a youth group easter camp. I have now being a Christian longer than I have not being a Christian in my life.
Main Message: The Woman Caught In Adultery – How Jesus Responds – The Gospel
John 8:1-11 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him. And He sat down and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman taken in adultery. And standing her in the midst, they said to Him, Teacher, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such should be stoned. You, then, what do you say? They said this, tempting Him so that they might have reason to accuse Him. But bending down, Jesus wrote on the ground with His finger, not appearing to hear. But as they continued to ask Him, He lifted Himself up and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her. And again bending down, He wrote on the ground. And hearing, and being convicted by conscience, they went out one by one, beginning at the oldest, until the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. And bending back up, and seeing no one but the woman, Jesus said to her, Woman, where are the ones who accused you? Did not one give judgment against you? And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more.
DID YOU NOTICE: Jesus is the ONLY one there who could have thrown a stone! He IS sinless! He could have cast the stone because he was sinless.
Hebrew 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”
1 Peter 2:22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
1 John 3:5 “. . . And in him is no sin.”
Isaiah 53:9 “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
NOTE: The Old Testament listed adultery as a capital crime (Lev. 20:10). This is horrifying to the modern reader, when it merits no punishment in our society. Though we are no longer under Old Testament civil law, it is defensible–especially when compared to the other ancient Near Eastern law codes. The Mosaic law was very tough on crimes against people, relationships, and the family unit.
The TRAP: If he agreed with the Old Testament law and called for her execution, they could accuse him of sedition before the Romans, because since 30 AD the Romans had taken away the Jews’ right of capital punishment. If he said she shouldn’t be stoned, they could accuse him of false teaching and discredit him with the people, because of what the Old Testament law mandated.
Instead, Jesus/GRACE says “I do not condemn you–now go and sin no more.” He isn’t saying merely that he won’t prosecute her (he can’t). Neither is he saying that she isn’t responsible for her actions (“go and sin no more”). Neither is he saying that he accepts her apology to him (she didn’t apologize or do anything to him). He is forgiving what she did to others, and to God. In other words, he is issuing a declaration of divine forgiveness (as in Mk. 2), even though she is guilty!! How can he do this without making a complete mockery of God’s justice? He can do this for two reasons: Because he is willing to pay the penalty for her sins himself (read 1 Jn. 2:1,2). This is why it is “fair”–because the penalty will be paid (Rom. 3:26).
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation concerning our sins, and not concerning ours only, but also concerning the sins of all the world.
GOSPEL: In a real sense, this woman is an illustration of all of us. We have sinned, we have been caught by God’s justice, we deserve death–but Jesus is willing and able to completely deliver us from God’s condemnation. And this is the way all of us are to get forgiveness: not by trying to pay our sins off (impossible), not by denying responsibility–but by coming to Jesus and asking him for the full forgiveness that he offers you. When we do this, we are completely and permanently accepted by God (Rom. 8:1). Have you done this?
Jesus replaces our guilt with grace.
DID YOU NOTICE: She calls him Lord. She acknowledges that he is the one who saves her.
THE GOSPEL: Jesus has paid for our sins upon the cross.
Colossians 1:20-22 And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.
Ephesians 2:12-13 At that time you did not know about Christ. You were foreigners to the people of Israel, and you had no part in the promises that God had made to them. You were living in this world without hope and without God, and you were far from God. But Christ offered his life’s blood as a sacrifice and brought you near God.
Rom 3:23-25 All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life’s blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.