Sunday, May 25, 2014

Where Are Your Accusers?

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.

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 something 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 spoke to her, "Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more."

The events in the Bible are true. They may sometimes seem far fetched but we're talking about God here! We're talking about the One who created this earth and all things in it. Is nothing impossible for Him?  Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (Jeremiah 32:17)

Jesus had the right words for any occasion because they were the truth. And often these words stupefied or upset those who were trying to slip Him up. No one ever did, no one ever will.

Here again Jesus has brought the masses to listen to His words. It doesn't say they were forced to be there; and all the people came... What a commanding figure, this Jesus, and so amazingly wise. Who was this Man? They'd seen no one like Him. Surely He did not present Himself as one who was arrogant. He just spoke from His heart with all wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Just why the Pharisees despised Him. He was looking greater than they. A threat. Someone to get rid of. Just like we see Jesus here being tested by those who felt threatened, couldn't it be that today the whole idea of Christianity is in the same circumstance?

So here's a chance for the religious leaders to try to stump Him. There they went again bringing up the Old Testament laws, right before the Man who spoke of a new covenant, a new way. He put them in their places very swiftly! Was there any man there who had not sinned? No, because there is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). There is only One who is totally without sin and they were standing before Him, trying to test Him!

And what does Jesus do? We don't know what He wrote on the ground although people have tried to speculate. I won't. We don't know. Maybe it was just something to give them a moment or two to think. So few words needed to be said, but such a conviction placed on these men.

Everyone is now gone. Just this woman who'd been caught in the "very act" of adultery. Had they been spying on her to catch her in the very act? What does that say about those who spied? Where were her accusers now? So they felt convicted!? Didn't stop them from wanting to stop Him, as we know. People feel convicted even today.

Anyway, then came what Jesus came into this world to do, for this woman and for us. Remove the condemnation and forgive sin. But there is a stipulation: go and sin no more. Jesus comes into our lives spiritually that we might turn from our sins and walk in obedience to a new life in Christ. He tells us that while others might condemn us, He will forgive. But it takes an act of belief that He has done this and still does.

As I write this I'm thinking about judgment. Some judge Christians for their seemingly narrow minded view of things. And we are told not to judge, and yet we are...righteously, like He did. He judged those Pharisees. He had them pegged! He also knew what all the sins of this world were. He had to judge. But He also hoped that people would turn from their sinful lives. It's what He asks of each one of us. And nothing is impossible through the power of Jesus Christ! In His own words He has told us this...

John 3:17-18 - For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

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