Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Jesus Forgives, by John.

Jesus Forgives
John 8:1-11

1. To Jesus the mount of Olives must have been like our modern campgrounds. He frequently retired there to rest and spend the night.
(1) Jesus didn’t have a home like we do. The Pharisees that wanted to arrest Jesus had their own homes of course.
(2) In Mt. 8:20, Jesus told a man who wanted to follow Him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”
(3) We often face the suffering of the cross squarely, but we need also to remember that Jesus and His disciples roughed it all of the time, not just two weeks out of the year! (That’s pain and suffering, too.)
2. The narrow cobblestoned streets of Jerusalem were doubtlessly filthy and probably wet at times. The mount of Olives was really a welcoming place for them to rest.
3. This episode in the life of Jesus is not in any of the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament, but it is in keeping with everything Jesus said and taught.
4. Many think someone other than John added this to John’s Gospel, but he may have added it himself at a later time. (I suspect John lived longer than any other apostle.)
5. Every student of the Bible that I know about acknowledges these 11 verses to be the inspired Word of God, and I agree with them.
6. Without this passage there are several things we might never learn.

I. First, Jesus was not bothered by man’s accusation.

1. God disregards our judgments. Remember how Elijah thought he was the only prophet of God left? God told him that he had 7,000 who had not bowed to Baal in I Kings 19:18.
1. Before they brought this woman in, Jesus prepared to teach the people.
2. The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees waited for the right moment to interrupt Him. They were so sure of themselves that they wanted His audience to hear His judgment!
3. They stood this woman before Him and accused her of adultery.
4. They cited the requirement of the Law from Lev 20:10 and Dt. 22:22. (Both condemn both adulterers! Where was the man who committed adultery? The Law applied equally to both parties! They should have brought the man in for judgment, too!)
5. They attempted to force Jesus to make a mistake.
(1) He could either decide in favor of keeping the Law, or to do nothing.
(2) Either would be a failure in the eyes of the people, and that’s what these men were after. They wanted Jesus to fail!
7. He accepted their accusation, no denial, no affirmation, no alarm!

II. Second, Jesus refused to gratify His enemies.

1. I love it when Jesus puts such people in their place. (I don’t like it when I prove to be one of those people myself! All of us are biased and we cannot judge justly!)
2. Jesus stooped and wrote on the ground of the temple court.
(1) I’m sure His enemies thought they had Him for sure!
(2) His lack of worry, His lack of hesitation, His easy concentration and body language must have been disconcerting to them.
3. They continued to question Him, and I think they grew louder, probably taunting Him with things like, “What’s the matter? You claim to know so much! Don’t you know what to do?”
4. Jesus stood up, looked at them and spoke quietly, “If you are not a sinner, you cast the first stone.” (my paraphrase of v. 7.)
5. That’s all He said!
(1) It caused those older men to begin thinking about their own lives!
(2) They probably wouldn’t have obeyed Jesus, but it shamed them that they accused this poor woman when they, themselves, had done things just as bad or worse!
(3) I always think about my old school superintendent who said, “When I point my finger at you, boys, I have three others pointing back at me!
6. From the oldest to the youngest, they began to sneak away into the crowd! And don’t you know that crowd stood there with their mouths open??? Their leaders were guilty! They admitted they were no better than that harlot!
7. What did He write?
(1) Some have surmised that Jesus knew the sins those men had committed.
(2) Some say that He was saying they were all adulterers.
(3) Some say that he wrote their sins in the dust of the temple court. Whether any of those are correct or not, none of us know.
(4) What we do know is that they were guilty and ashamed! And they knew Jesus knew! (That’s the power of God’s Word. Remember Hebrews 4:12 & 13? “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
8. How ashamed that woman must have been! If our sins were paraded before a crowd, and we were made to stand there in front of them while we were accused, I believe every one of us would be just as ashamed as she was! We all have sinned!

III. Third, Jesus forgave and admonished the woman.

1. When Jesus stood up, He knew the woman’s accusers were gone.
2. V 10, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
3. V 11, “’No one, sir,’ she said.”
4. “’Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’”
5. Do you realize what a wonderful blessing Jesus gave this woman?
(1) When we are tested, and we pass, we know we are blessed! Amen?
(2) But do we know what a blessing it is to fail and be forgiven?
(3) Jesus opened the door of life to this woman and urged her to leave her life of sin!
(4) If she did as He commanded her, she will be waiting in heaven to greet all of us who trust Jesus!

conclusion:

1. Jesus accepted the accusation of these religious men.
2. Their words did not sway Him.
3. He forgave this woman’s sins, and admonished her to live a godly life.
4. Do you see the love God has for all of us? Can you understand why time hasn’t ended? II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
5. Just like Jesus refused to condemn this woman and those who accused her, Jesus is holding off on accusing all who have not trusted Him. He’s not willing to give up on any of us!
6. Put your trust in Jesus as we pray.

Emmanuel Community Church July 31, 2005

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