Summary: What do you do when you are faced with a difficult decision? (work, home, family, friends, ethical, non ethical) What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer?
Caught in the Act
Chapter summary. Jesus is teaching again in the temple courts when the religious leaders drag in a woman caught in the act of adultery and challenge Him to sentence her. He avoids their trap by calling on “any one of you” who is without sin to cast the first stone—and one by one they leave (8:1–11).
What do you do when you are faced with a difficult decision? (work, home, family, friends, ethical, non ethical) What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer?
Here Jesus is having to make a very difficult decision.
• 1st They were trying to Set Him Up. (Pharisees & Religious scholars) (Teaching again)(lets put a stop to this)
• She was caught in the act. (She was embarrassed) (They led her in, she was on display)
• Teacher what do you say? (what’s your position on this)
• Deut. 22:22-24 (last line is You must purge the evil)
• Here they only bring the woman.
• Moses in the law says stone this woman, what do you say?
• Roman’s did not allow Jews to carry out death sentences
• If Jesus said stone her He would have been in conflict with the Romans. If He said not to stone her he would be guilty of not supporting of Old Testament law.
• They saw it as a win, win situation. They could finally bring charges against Jesus.
• 2nd This Sin could not be committed alone.(hard to commit adultery by yourself)
• For this particular offense there would normally be no witnesses, since its nature would demand privacy. 1 Either the witnesses became such by accident, which would be unusual; or 2 they were present purposely to create the trap for Jesus, in which case they themselves were guilty; or 3 they condoned the deed, and this would make them partners in it.
• Since Jewish law required the witnesses in any case of capital punishment to begin the stoning, each one of the accusers would either have to admit that he was guilty or else refrain from demanding the woman’s death.
Jesus here takes time to think.
• He writes in the dirt without answering them immediately. This is the only occasion on record that refers to his writing.
• Wonder what He Wrote?
• Some speculate that it was a comparison to God’s finger writing on the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments.
Others say that He was secretly writing the sins of the people that had brought the woman to Him.
But let those who have never sinned throw the first Stone!
• When his questioners kept pressing him for an answer, Jesus replied by putting the dilemma back on them.
• Jesus is still in the temple surrounded by swarms of people, watching, waiting to see how He will deal with this. (many of them would be glad that they weren’t facing this kind of decision..
Slipped away beginning with the oldest (The wisest)
• Jesus stops the entire ordeal with one sentence “The sinless one among you go first.”
• With this the accusers "began to go away one at a time, the older ones first." The older ones either had more sins for which they were answerable or else had more sense than to make an impossible profession of righteousness.
Go and sin no more
• Finally the woman was left alone
• Something we see here that we don’t see very often. Jesus doesn’t forgive Her.
He simply says, “from now on don’t sin”
• He doesn’t condone her behavior.
So what can we learn from the way Jesus handled this situation and be able to use when we are faced with decisions?
1 Stop –
2 Think –
3 Consult God and His Word
Mt 18:15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.
Mt 18:16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.
Mt 18:17 If that person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. If the church decides you are right, but the other person won’t accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
Mt 18:18 I tell you this: Whatever you prohibit on earth is prohibited in heaven, and whatever you allow on earth is allowed in heaven.
4 Forgive again and again, never stop.
How would Jesus treat a Pagan or a Tax Collector? Vs 17
It all comes down to love. We must love others, more than we love ourselves.