After finishing my studies in James 2 on faith and works, I have sadly neglected my blog. My apologies. Today's post is the first of a two-post study on John 8:1-12:
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
We see here the story of the Pharisees bringing an adulterous woman to Jesus, to test Him to see if He would uphold their law. Jesus was in the temple teaching the people at the time, which means that she was literally brought to tribunal, before Jesus in front of the entire multitude. Her shame was made public before "all the people."
Yet why did they bring her to Jesus? We know already that the Pharisees hated Jesus, so why would they seek His counsel in the matter? To test Him. They wanted to entrap Him. If He had told them to let her go, they would have raised the outcry that He willed to violate the Mosaic law, and yet if He commanded her to be stoned, the scribes and Pharisees would most likely have excited the pity of the multitude against Jesus for His "inhuman" act.
But Jesus did not permit Himself to be entrapped. He stoops down and writes on the ground. Why does He do this? Is He considering what to say? I do not think so. I think He used this moment to pray for not only the woman, but those who wanted to condemn her. With imaginable impatience they continued to ask. This time Jesus rises and catches the hypocritical Pharisees in their own trap by convicting them of their own sin. He said "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."
The Pharisees thought they were the righteous religious leaders of God, yet their noses were too high in their self-righteousness to see their own sin. It was the case of the sinner judging the sinner, or, the pot calling the kettle black.
Pharisaical ways have not grown extinct. Too often we desire to harshly judge one who we thing has wronged us. In our indignation--rightful or not--we see Exodus 21:24, and not Matthew 5:39. Our human nature wants to take matters into our own hands, and forget that "vengeance is the Lord's" (Romans 12:19).
What did Christ Himself do when He was crucified? He forgave them. Despite their brutal treatment of Him, He still forgave. And so should we.
Matthew West wrote a beautiful song called Forgiveness. Watch it as this post comes to a close:
Blog Post IndexWhat Is Christmas? He Said Be Still Don't Fake It As Iron Trusting God With Goals True Friends You Have Been Called To Liberty We Overcome Memories With God All Things Are Possible Is Our Light Shining? Paul's Last Words #10: Conclusion Paul's Last Words #9: Our Faithful Lord Paul's Last Words #8: Who Are We Like? Paul's Last Words #7: Loving His Appearing Paul's Last Words #6: Keeping The Faith Paul's Last Words #5: Running The Race Paul's Last Words #4: Fighting The Fight Paul's Last Words #3: As A Drink Offering Paul's Last Words #2: Your Ministry Paul's Last Words #1: I Charge You Unicorns in the Bible Riches: Good or Bad? Do We Know Him? If There Was No Tomorrow As I Have Loved You Following Christ Forgiveness Faith and Works #4 (Final Part): Dead Faith Faith and Works #3: Works Are Your Witness Faith and Works #2: Works Aren't It Faith and Works #1: What Does It Profit? A God Who Approves Cannibalism? Happy The One Who Dashes Not Everyone Who Says To Me, "Lord" Rightly Dividing The Word?