Summary: Examining this event from Jesus' life and ministry in John 8, we can learn to live as he lived and love as he loved ... no condemnation, no compromise, full of compassion.
We’re glad you’re here as we continue our Summer teaching series entitled: LIVE-LIKE-THAT. Through this series, we’re examining different events in the life and ministry of Jesus as well as his teachings from the Gospels to get a glimpse into what is looks like to begin living out our faith in Jesus in a tangible way … as we live in relation to one another (fellow believers in Christ) and in relation to those in our community who are outside of Christ.
One of my favorite scriptures that I’ve latched on to as, what I would call, a “life verse” is found in I John 2:6 … “the one who says he abides in Him, ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” That is, if we profess to be His disciples (fully devoted followers of Jesus), then we must begin to live out that confession of faith in our daily walk … our day to day living. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” It’s not something that we compartmentalize so as to LIVE-LIKE-THAT only on Sunday mornings, but as we grow in our walk with the Lord, we become more and more like Him; to LIVE as HE lived … to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Our hope is that as we look to Jesus, we will begin to LIVE-LIKE-THAT … that we would get to a point where can proclaim as The Apostle Paul did: “For to me, to live is Christ . . .” [Philippians 1:21].
Today we’re going to be examining a passage of scripture that is probably pretty familiar to some of you … especially if you’ve grown up in and around the church and spent some time reading and studying the life of Jesus. It’s found in John chapter 8. We’ll be focusing on the first 11 verses.
However, before we read through this event together, I need to address as issue with this particular passage. It involves what is called textual criticism and questions whether or not this section in our Bibles really ought to even be there. In most English translations of the Bible, in fact, if you’re reading anything other than the King James Version, more than likely, you’ll notice that John 7:53 through 8:11 will have some type of notation … it may have parenthesis or brackets around it or a footnote or something indicating that something is up with this section in our Bibles. There will usually be a footnote or a statement letting you know that early manuscripts do not contain John 7:53-8:11, but that these verses were added into latter manuscripts. This is arguably the most textually difficult section in all of the New Testament writings. I don’t want to belabor this too much, but let me share with you 4 questions that are important to ask when considering a textual criticism … namely, whether or not we should accept the content of these verses as a valid part of the scriptures.
Key questions for textual criticism:
(1) Do these verses teach truths that violate other scriptures? No
(2) Do these verses corroborate other scriptures and substantiate it? Yes
(3) Do these verses fit all that we know of the person and teaching of Christ? Yes
(4) Is there definitive and conclusive evidence that these verses should be left out? No
And with all of this and other considerations, scholars and translators have seen fit to include this passage as it is in our scriptures today. Even if it wasn’t in the original writing of John, there is nothing in this passage that would make us question its validity as an actual event that took place in the life and ministry of Jesus. In fact, John even writes at the end of his gospel these words: “And there are also many of other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” [John 21:25].
[Read John 8:1-4]
Have you ever been caught? You know, doing something you absolutely knew you weren’t supposed to be doing and you get caught … caught in the very act. So caught, that you can’t even lie your way out of it. There’s no denying it … no excuses … no getting around it or covering it up. You are caught … red handed … with your hand in the cookie jar and crumbs in the corner of your mouth. Have you ever been caught?
I think of Adam and Eve in the third chapter of the book of Genesis after they’d eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The account says that when they’d eaten, “then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew …” and in verse 8 it continues: “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden … and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God ….” [Genesis 3:7-8]. They knew … they were caught. What about you? Have you ever been caught?