Summary: Sometimes we respond to people’s sin and think we are responding the way that God would have. The best way to see how to deal with sin is to see how Jesus dealt with people’s sins during His life.
“Encounters with Jesus: An Adulterous Woman”
I heard a story of a girl and a guy who were dating; they were a very religious couple. They went to the local Christian church and were there every time the doors were open. They tried very hard to center their relationship around Christ with God centered morals. They kept their relationship pure and made sure that they stayed above reproach. The temptation not to remain so pure was very strong, and Satan was continuous attacking them. One day they gave into temptation and decided to take advantage of a time that their parents were not home. In the meantime the girl’s father came in and caught them doing some improper things.
Put yourself in the shoes of that Father. How would or should you react to a situation like that?
Most of us here would not respond in the nicest of ways. The first thoughts that run through our head when we hear a story like that is:
1. How could they sin so blatantly against God
2. They will receive God’s judgment
3. I am glad I am not a sinner like them
There was a similar story that took place when Jesus was here on Earth, but perhaps even to a greater extent. This story leaves us a beautiful account of how our savior treated people, who were among him, especially those sinful people of his day. When Jesus was in Jerusalem he spent a lot of time around the temple teaching and preaching. He gained the respect of many of the people that were around including the Rabbis and teachers of the Law. One day as Jesus was in the temple the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus. They thought that they could trap Jesus. This woman brought to Jesus was caught in the very act of Adultery. I wonder what was going through the minds of the religious people of that day. I am sure they were thinking of the awful sin of this woman and they were probably angry about her sin. The Pharisees had hoped to trap Jesus by asking him what to do with that woman. If Jesus would have said to stone her he would have been legally in trouble because it was against the law for the Jews to enforce the death penalty, and if Jesus would have said “let her go”, the would have accused Jesus of being a liberal because the scriptures say that an adulterous is to be stoned on the account of two or three witnesses. I sometimes wonder where we would have fit into this story. In fact in sometimes scares me where I may fit in this story. Maybe I would have been looking down at this woman for her sin thinking I was better than her because I was not such a horrible sinner. The hard thing to do is to find a balance for how we are to treat sin. It would be wrong to have wanted this woman stoned because we need to show grace to the sinners and show them love as well, but on the other hand we can not overlook sin and condone it, in fact sin should be sickening to the Christian. How do we balance legalism and grace? I believe that Jesus sets us the perfect example for how to treat people and to view people.
Text: John 8:1-11
I. Jesus Convicted of Sin
When people came into the presence of Jesus they felt convicted about their sins that they had committed in the past. When Jesus went to Samaria and came across the woman at the well she was convicted about her past and wanted to change. When Jesus was passing through Jericho and went to Zacchaeus the Tax Collector’s house, Zacchaeus was convicted by the fact that he had mistreated people. When Jesus came to Simon the Pharisee’s house the sinful woman was convicted of her life of sin. Why is it that people were so convicted of sin in Jesus’ presence?
1. His Powerful Preaching
There is no doubt that Jesus was a powerful preacher. In fact I do not know if there ever has been a preacher that has affected people the way that Jesus did. Jesus spoke boldly and bluntly, he convicted people of their sins often by his powerful preaching, but can we attribute people’s conviction by his preaching. A sermon can have some effect on people, but in reality that effect in only temporal. You may hear the preacher preach and feel convicted about something said; you may have your toes stepped on and want to change. Most of the time though a sermon and preaching does not impact us enough to change us. When I first heard the gospel I was convicted by the preacher’s words, but had I not seen Christ in other people I never would have changed and my conviction would have been nothing more than an emotional stir. I do think it is important for us to put into practice things when we are convicted by the sermon. An “amen” does not make us right with the Lord, and agreeing is easy, but changing is not. As I said Jesus was a great preacher, greater than any other that ever has lived. People came by the myriads just to hear him preach. Stadiums were packed out to hear Jesus preach. He preached the best sermon ever called the “Sermon on the Mount”, but I do not think his preaching is what brought conviction and change to people.