Summary: • Like the city dwellers who no longer notice the polluted air, we breathe in the atmosphere of ungrace
A world without Grace
Jn 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Jn 8:2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
Jn 8:3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
Jn 8:4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
Jn 8:5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
Jn 8:6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
Jn 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Jn 8:8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Jn 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
Jn 8:10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
• A survey by New York Times on Crime in modern Japan – Why is it, they asked for every 100,000 citizens USA imprisons 519 people while Japan imprisons only 37 people.
• Where would you prefer to live USA or Japan?
In search of answers the Times reporter interviewed a Japanese man who had just finished serving a sentence for murder:
o In the 15 years he was in prison he had no one visiting him.
o After the release his wife & son met him only to tell him never to return to his home & village.
o His 3 daughters had got married while he was in prison and they refused to have anything to do with him
o To the reporter he said “I think I have 4 grand children and I have never even seen a photograph of them”
• The Japanese society has found a way to harness the power of ungrace
• Did I hear some one saying “It works!” does it?
• Is crime the only sin in Japan? Has it solved the problem of sin?
• A mother wrote a letter to her son on his Birthday explaining that a mother’s life is like a Bank.
• The child makes withdrawals but no deposits during all the childhood years.
• Later it is the son’s responsibility to replenish the supply he has drawn out
• Then she spelt out the ways in which her son could make certain deposits to keep the account going – flowers, fruit baskets, vegetables and paying her bills
• So a mother’s love for her child is with the expectation of return?
• What an ungrace!!
• Like the city dwellers who no longer notice the polluted air, we breathe in the atmosphere of ungrace
How Jesus became graceful to the woman caught in Adultery – not cheap grace
• The guilt of the woman was indisputable; she had been "caught in the act of adultery,"
• Jesus did not challenge the charge.
• According to the law, she should be put to death (see Lev 20:10; Dt 22:22-24).
• If Jesus refused to confirm the death penalty, he could be charged with contradicting the law of God and would himself be liable to condemnation.
• If, on the other hand, If he confirmed the verdict of the Pharisees, he would lose his reputation for compassion
• When his questioners kept pressing him for an answer, Jesus replied by putting the dilemma back on them
• Jesus did not pronounce sentence either. But neither did he proclaim her to be innocent
• Jesus dismissed the woman by saying, "Go now and leave your life of sin."
o Jesus’ address to the woman was respectful (cf. 2:4 –Mother ; 20:13- Mary Magdalene).
o Meeting a man who was interested in saving rather than exploiting and in forgiving rather than condemning must have been a new experience for her.
o Jesus’ Graceful attitude provided both the motivation and the assurance she needed.
o Forgiveness demands a clean break with sin.
o Jesus refrained from condemning her – it was a guarantee that he would support her.
o The purpose of Grace in a world of ungrace is salvation