Summary: The law is a system based on merit and work – What you do will determine what you get Grace is a system based on FAITH – What you believe will determine what you get John 1:17 says “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
Let me begin with a simple question – have you ever been in a situation where you were disgraced? St James says…“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. .......But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”. (James 3:2, 8) Here’s the bottom line… Disgrace, Disappointment, and Shame are Conditions We all Experience. So we’ve all disgraced ourselves with our words…we’ve said things for which now we’re ashamed… Bible say - If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
The concept of “grace” is thrilling beyond words. One of the best-known definitions of grace is only three words: God's unmerited favour in other words Grace is that which is freely given and totally undeserved; receiving what you do not deserve, and not receiving what you do. God introduced the Law of Moses, given to the children of Israel. For a period of time, it was a complete system, lacking nothing. It was merit based. If you keep the law, you will be blessed. But although the system was complete, it failed to control human conduct. The flesh is not subject to the law of God because of human’s fallen nature. When Jesus spoke on the Sermon of the Mount, He affirmed the Law of Moses but introduced another system and a period called grace and truth. And this is where we are today. We’re not under the severity of the Law of Moses; we are in a period called grace. It is a time of God’s grace. The more you understand it the more you will celebrate it. John 1:17 says that “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. “ Moses was just the instrument of God to bring in the Law of Moses.
The law is a system based on merit and work – What you do will determine what you get. Grace is a system based on FAITH – What you believe will determine what you get. Because of God’s grace, Jesus Christ loved the human kind steadfastly, sacrificially, selflessly, unconditionally and redemptively. All of these are really just describing something called God’s GRACE. It’s the work of God’s redemptive, sacrificial and unconditional love for you and me. He brought grace, that’s why the ‘people of the law’ (such as the scribes and Pharisees) had a hard time with him. The religious leaders couldn’t understand why Jesus was doing what he was doing. They were using the law incorrectly with wrong motive. But Jesus was demonstrating grace and truth. They had so much conflict that they wanted to trap and eliminate Jesus. So they brought Him a woman caught in adultery. According to the law, both the man and woman caught in adultery will be stoned. But the man was conveniently ‘absent’. However Jesus did not dispute the charges of the woman- Which meant she was guilty. The law brought her to Jesus and accused her.
The woman is brought before Jesus early morning (John 8:2-3) by a group of religious people. I think they assumed to take social responsibilities seriously to maintaining stability in a society that is more than a little prone to instability. They see Jesus as a threat to social stability. Because He constantly challenges the corruption among religious groups and He disregards their corrupted tradition, rituals and custom. One way of containing him would be to discredit him as a teacher. If he is given an insoluble dilemma and fails to find a solution, his position of moral authority will be undermined, and people will be less likely to flock around him as they are now doing. This will diminish the danger he poses to himself, to them, and to others.
So the Jewish leaders bring a woman to him. She has been found guilty of adultery. They take the woman from her prison cell to the Temple precincts where Jesus is teaching, presumably in the outer courtyards of the Temple – the Court of the Gentiles or the Court of Women would be the only areas she could be taken, since a woman could not go any further into the holy area according to their custom. Nothing is known of her status, or her family background. All we can surmise is that she was frightened, confused, and hopeless, since she had disgraced herself and her family, and now faced the horrific death sentence. Stoning was a particularly brutal form of execution, but a strangely logical one in the context of the times. Consider the specific question they were putting forth to Jesus: "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now the Law of Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" (John 8:4-5)