I am going to use an old story that has been floating around to emphasize today’s message.
“A lady went to her Pastor and said ‘Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.’ The Pastor responds, ‘But why?’ The lady said ‘Ah! I saw a woman gossiping about another member; a man that is a hypocrite; the worship team living wrong; people looking at their phone during service; among so many other things wrong in your church.’ The Pastor replied ‘OK. But before you go, do me a favor: take a full glass of water and walk around the church three times without spilling a drop on the ground. Afterwards, leave the church if you desire. ‘The lady thought: too easy! She walked three times around the church as the Pastor had asked. When she finished, she told the Pastor she was ready to leave. The Pastor said, ‘Before you leave, I want to ask you one more question. When you were walking around the church, did you see anyone gossiping ?’ The lady replied ‘No.’ ‘Did you see any hypocrites?’ The lady said ‘No.’ ‘Anyone looking at their phone?’ ‘No.’ ‘You know why?’
‘No.’ ‘You were focused on the glass, to make sure you didn’t stumble and spill any water. It’s the same with our life. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we don’t have time to see the mistakes of others. We will reach out a helping hand to them and concentrate on our own walk with the Lord.’
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
We continue our series titled “For the One” based on the book by Dr. Danny
Forshee with the same title. We have been studying characters of the bible and how they were equipped to evangelized. Hopefully we can take these ideas and utilize them today as we follow the direction of the Great Commission.
We started with Jesus being the teacher, preacher, and molder of man. We looked at John the Baptist, the Paralytic, and the Samaritan Woman. We examined the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, Apostle Phillip, Nathaniel, and Matthew. We studied the Centurion two weeks ago. Last week we studied the Syro-Phoenician Woman
Today we start off by the religious authorities (Mainly the Pharisees and the Scribes) brought a woman to Jesus for judgment. She was caught in the act of adultery. This scene is like other cases where the Jewish religious leaders bring to Jesus or ask Jesus about. Remember adultery is not a capital offence under Roman Law. It is believed that Ancient Roman capital punishment was swift, cruel, and unusual.
Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Scripture is clear on the fact that Jesus was a disciple maker, loved all people, and was kind towards sinners but harsh towards religious mean people. We know that everything that Jesus did was for and at the direction of the Holy Father.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Let’s look at who this lady was. The lady’s identification was not made known but most likely a Jewish lady.
Exodus 20:14 specifically states “Thou shall not commit adultery”. We must remember that adultery has always been considered a serious offence.
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
We must remember that today although frowned upon, still a sin. consequences are far less serious as back in that time frame. However, there are still some cultures that still consider it a serious offence.
We do have to consider that the leaders were not specifically looking for punishment against the woman. They were trying to trap Jesus or as the author says, “Inflamed with revenge on Jesus”. We must consider that both parties of the adultery are guilty, and they only brought the female to be punished. Some historians speculate that the woman may have been set up.
The whole issue here is that the lady committed adultery. We are reminded that adultery was serious in God’s eyes then and still is today. As stated earlier, the punishment back then was serious but today it destroys trust and can break a marriage.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
What did Jesus do to this lady? Jesus hated the sin but loved the lady. Knowing that He was going to die and pay the ultimate price for all our sins, he told her to go sin no more
Now it was also mentioned earlier that both parties of the adulterous act are guilty of adultery.
The leaders brought on the lady and the guy was not brought forward. Unfortunately, today, the second party to the adulterous act still receives no punishment.
Again, this case is more about the revenge against Jesus than punishing anybody. All they accomplished was embarrassing themselves. Yes, they embarrassed the lady, but they ended up with the short end of the stick.
The religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus. They were so intense by the letter of the law that they forgot about God and his helping of people. They were jealous of all the people that loved Jesus.
Their goal was to trap him in the corner. They felt that if he didn’t stone the lady that he had disobeyed Moses. If he did have her stoned, then Rome could come after Him because it was their right to do so. We know that Jesus is not going to stone her because He was to live a perfect life and stoning the lady would have committed a sin.
Let’s take a step back from our scripture reading.
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
And again, he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
We do not know what He wrote but there has and always will be speculation. Some say that he may have written a bible scripture while others are not sure. It has become the subject of a religious song.
We certainly do not know what He wrote in the dirt, but we do know what He says:
So, when they continued asking him, he lifted himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Jesus made it quite clear that no one by God has the authority to pass judgment, therefore, only those given authority to pass judgment.
When Jesus had lifted himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
This sent a strong message to the crowd that came to hear Him teach until He was interrupted rudely with this scenario.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
We must be a disciple maker
We must love all people
We are not to pass judgment unless given the authority
We know the outcome of this lady that was brought to judgment. Her accusers were gone, nobody to stone her and Jesus says, “Nor will I”. He had her go on her way but told her not to sin no more.
So, you are asking the question will Jesus forgive me. Yes, most definitely, beyond a doubt. If you have faith and belief, all you need to do is ask for forgiveness. You must admit you are a sinner, believe that God loves us no matter what, and we must commit our life to God.
In closing today, we are going to pray the sinner’s prayer. Please join me in saying this prayer.
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
Remember only those given authority can judge