Trying to trick Jesus
Jesus had been in Galilee when challenged by brothers (Jn7:1-4)
Jesus went to Jerusalem during middle of feast, undercover not openly (Jn7:10, 14)
Jesus taught in the temple (Jn7:14); people were astonished, marveled at his knowledge
Jesus taught about true doctrine (7:16-29)
The Jews sought to take Him, but nobody touched Him (7:30)
Jesus teaches about Holy Spirit that was to come (Jn7:37-39)
Many believe, Pharisee’s challenge (Jn7:40:52)
We need to end with last week, and start with this week, so we will start with
53 Everyone went to his home.
(Insert Scriptural challenges PowerPoint here)
Some believe that Jn7:53-8:11 do not belong and there is much debate on this controversy.
Most of the earliest manuscripts omit this section.
Other manuscripts mark it with an asterisks. Look at (v.53) in your bible.
Then there is the placement of the passage.
Some place this after Lk21:38, others after Jn21:24, and one after Jn7:36.
Tasker says “all this evidence suggest that the scribes were often ignorant of its exact position, though anxious to retain it as part of the four Gospels, they knew it belonged, but they didn’t exactly know where.
People like Augustine omitted the story because they believed that Jesus was soft on adultery and approved of sexual immorality
There maybe debate about where it belongs but there is good reason that it belongs.
Looking at our text
Looking at our text
53 Everyone went to his home. 1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”
6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.
10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
(Insert Adulterous woman picture here)
What is purpose of this passage?
Who are the characters in this passage?
I think this morning I am going to insert thoughts etc. as we go through the questions and verses.
Where did everyone go and where did Jesus go (7:53-8:1)?
Jesus had challenged the thinking and confounded the people, they went to their own homes
Jesus went to the mount of olives, a place He was known to go for solitude and to spend time with the Father, some would say that it was the Garden of Gethsemane.
What happened the next morning (v.2)?
If this passage is in chronological order, then this is just after the feast of booths, a day or two after (7:37) Where the leaders wanted to silence Him, Jesus boldly taught.
What happens next and why (vv.3-6)?
It was the leaders who brought this woman, in shame, in humiliation, publically while Jesus was teaching.
They then turned to the Law of Moses and the judgment listed there for the breaking of this law.
Now what they missed is that the law stated both (the man, and the woman) were to be brought. and the witnesses (there had to be plural) were to testify. They had to have seen, and their stories had to collaborate perfectly .
Commentator Morris stated it like this: “Legally speaking, the standard of evidence was very high for this crime. There had to be two witnesses and tey had to perfectly agree. They had to see the sexual act take place; it wasn’t enough to see the pair leaving the same room together or even lying on the same bed together. The actual physical movements of the couple must have been capable of no other explanation . . . conditions were so stringent that they could have been met only on rare occasions.”
Jewish historian Josephus tells us adultery would be punished on the average of only once ever seven years for was hard to have actual witnesses of the physical act.
This was a pre-arranged act to try to catch Jesus or they would have brought the man too.
Other thing to consider, they really thought they had Jesus (v.5) if he said stone her, he would go against Roman law, and he would go against friend of sinners. If He said “let her go” he would be dishonoring the very word of God He came to fulfill (Mt5:17)
Don’t miss the fact at the end of (v.6), what did Jesus do?
Jesus stooped down, I know most want to focus on the writing trying to figure out what He wrote, but I think we need to think about the stooping.
Stooping down indicates humility. Jesus paused and stooped down, took a lower position, so to identify with the humiliation of the woman. He cared for her, He may have wanted to ease the embarrassment.
David Guzik says: “One may say this story illustrates the great problem: how can God show love and grace to a sinner without being unjust, without breaking His law? He does it first identifying with the sinner in their low position.”
After stooping (v.6) what does Jesus do (vv.7-8)?
Jesus straightened up and spoke to the Pharisees and the scribes.
He then took the position of looking the accusers in the eye, no longer in humble estate but authoritative state. You want to execute her? OK, we better do this right, which witness brought this woman and did not bring the man? Who designed the humiliation of this poor sinner woman?
Instead of passing judgment on the sinner woman Jesus passes judgment on the accusers.
Who heard and began to go out (v.9)?
Do you wonder why they went out in the order they did (v.9)?
Scripture does not tell us what He wrote, nor why they went out the way they did, we can only make assumptions, make speculations on it.
Maybe the oldest understood how Jesus said “without sin” (v.7) meant, continual sin, not just “a sin.” and they knew, were convicted in the heart that they were sinners and could not do it. Jesus was the only non-sinner there and He could have condemned her, but He did not, He showed compassion for her.
Some of your versions (v.9) may say standing in the center of the court. That is the only place that mentions her posture, her position. So that could explain, Jesus actions in the next verse.
What did Jesus do (v.10)?
Jesus straightened up, or stood up after stooping down a second time.
Now the way this is all worded it would be easy to assume the woman was on the ground and Jesus stooped to her level. To her humiliation to give her care and compassion.
What did Jesus say, or infer in (v.10)?
Woman. Notice He did not call her “harlot” or “sinner” he called her woman, the same way he addressed his very mother (Jn2:4)
Jesus asks where are your accusers, did not one of them condemn you? Another proof that this was all a way of trying to trick or trip up Jesus.
What was the woman’s response to Jesus (v.11)?
No one Lord. None of the accusers were there, they all had left from the oldest to the youngest. those who wanted to condemn her to death, or really have Jesus do it, left and she no longer was condemned by them.
the woman knew she stood guilty, condemned, was awaiting death but she was given life, given forgiveness.
What did Jesus have to say after her response (v.11)?
If they did not condemn you, I do not condemn you either. - Jesus could since was sinless, but Jesus could not for he was not a witness nor was there any witnesses to prove the accusation.
Jesus took on the guilt of her sin himself. She did not deny her guilt, she knew she stood guilty, but Jesus knew he was willing to take it on himself, to pay the price of her sin. He was just six months away from doing exactly that.
Barclay made this commentary note: “They knew the thrill of exercising power to condemn; Jesus knew the thrill of exercising the power to forgive.”
We know as a Christian there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom8:1) and we should not condemn others as sinners when we ourselves are not without sin.
Jesus gave instructions to the woman, what were the instructions (v.11)?
Go. From now on sin no more.
Go for you know the truth (Jesus is the truth) and you have been set free.
Go for you are no longer condemned but are forgiven.
Sin no more, this is not a single sin, this is to continue in the same sin she was caught in the very act of, adultery. Or it can mean a lifestyle of sin.
Morris said “The form of the command implies a ceasing to commit an action already started. ‘Stop your sinful habit’. And the no more points to the though of no return.”
Are there sin’s we can get caught up in even as Christians. Think about that, consider that. If there are, repent, confess and live forgiven in Christ Jesus.
interesting fact the Pharisees and the scribes called Jesus “teacher” or Rabbi, but the woman called Jesus Lord.
Is Jesus just a good teacher to you, or is He the Lord of your life?
Some closing facts from these closing words. There is a lot under the scene of these words.
Jesus recognized that what the woman had done was sin, because He told her to stop sinning.
He told her to repent “From now on sin no more.”
He gave her hope. “I do not condemn you.” and hope that she could go and sin no more.
The woman needed the hope, for she was shamed, humiliated. It was done very publically, in the temple where Jesus had been teaching. it could be now that she would be shunned by the community since they know what she did.
She could be rejected by her husband now, which would be the right thing under Jewish law. he could not be with her again. And under the Law she would have been put to death if they met the requirements.
A closing question (not looking for a verbal answer here), have you ever been shamed or humiliated and thought there was no way out? - Jesus is the way, There is no where you can do that is outside of the reach of grace, mercy and forgiveness from Jesus when you turn (repent) and seek Him calling on His name (for salvation for sanctification).