Summary: Jesus does not offer excues for sin He offers compassion and forgiveness.
Intro: On March 22, 1824 an incident took place in Madison County, Indiana, which came to be known as the Fall Creek Massacre. Six white men murdered nine Seneca and Miami Indians and wounded another. Among the nine dead were three women and four children. The six men were apprehended and tried and some were executed. One of the men named John Bridge Jr. was sentenced to death by hanging for his part in the massacre. He was to be executed on June 3, 1825. His father, John Bridge Sr. and another man named Andrew Sawyer, who was John Bridge Jr.’s uncle, were also to be executed that day. John Bridge, Jr., along with a large crowd, witnessed the hangings of his father and uncle as the crowd waited expectantly for a pardon from the governor. With no sign of a pardon, a sermon was preached as the crowd waited expectantly. Finally, John Bridge, Jr. was lead to the gallows and the rope was lowered over his head. But as the men waited for a signal, a cheer arose from the back of the crowd. A stranger rode forward and looked the condemned man in the face. "Sir, do you know in whose presence you stand?" Bridge shook his head. "There are but two powers known to the law that can save you from hanging by the neck until you are dead, dead, dead; one is the great God of the Universe, the other is J. Brown Ray, Governor of the State of Indiana; the latter stands before you..." Handing over the written pardon, the governor announced, "You are pardoned." In an instant, what had looked like a hopeless situation became a door of hope. John Bridge Jr. went back home, settled down, opened a dry goods store and died peacefully, fifty-one years later! I told that story to ask this question: Can you imagine the fear that must have gripped the heart of that young man as he watched his father and his uncle die, knowing that he was next. Can you imagine the terror as he was led onto the gallows and that noose was placed around his neck? It must have been a moment of terror like few have ever experienced! But, I know one person who had experienced that feeling. This poor sinful woman, whose story is related in this text, she knew that kind of fear. As she is led trembling into the presence of Jesus, she knows in her heart that she is about to die a horrible death by stoning. However, her path had led her into the presence of "the great God of the universe". And, when she met Him, everything changed, forever!
She was caught in the act of Adultery, dragged possibly naked by force into a public gathering place. She was humiliated by her sin, separated from anyone to protect her, judged and sentenced to death by self-righteous leaders, and placed before the King of Kings who is pure and holy.
This is John’s description of the opening of this Biblical scene. It is possibly one of most emotional and theologically significant passages in the New Testament. (Significance of it mission from early MSS) (Some say it is not inspired because this periscope or portion of John does not appear in the earliest of manuscripts. I believe it was removed because of the possibility of making Jesus look soft on sin.)
As do many of the instances in the Bible this passage yells soap opera, soap opera, full of immoral activities injustice, abuse. At the core of the story is what happens when a sinner is placed at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the place every person must go in order to experience the promise of eternal life. It doesn’t matter whether you sin is a socially unacceptable or acceptable one. Socially unacceptable include adultery, murder, stealing, etc. Socially acceptable are gluttony, gossip, and greed. Everyone must come to the feet of Jesus to experience His mercy and grace.
In our text John identifies two distinct voices that speak to our situation in life, critics and Christ. The voice of critics condemn and criticize, destroy, mock, and humiliate. Usually their method is to use any means available to exploit your weakness and you failures. It is obvious that the Pharisees did not accidently catch a woman in the act of adultery. This was a planned attack to destroy her life and create a trap for the ministry of Jesus. John not only identifies the voices but also clearly shows us their motives. There was no genuine concern about her adultery and protecting the purity of their community. They wanted to trap Jesus by creating a Kobayashi Maru for you Star Trek fans an unwinnable situation. They wanted to trap Jesus in a situation that would cause Him to choose between His message of forgiveness and obeying the Old Testament laws handed down from Moses. Just as this adulterous woman had been used by her lovers for selfish reasons, these critics used her for their own personal agenda. They recognized that Jesus was a threat to their little empire that they had built by exploitation of people and false teaching for personal gain.