Summary: A sermon that looks at Jesus encounter with the woman caught in Adultery - finishes with a remarkable NZ poem
John 8 New International Version (NIV)
8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 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.7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
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.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
People in glass houses
It is morning.
Morning is that time of day when Godly people wake to commune with God it is the time of roosters crowing it is a time of strength when workers wake up and go about their chores. Carpentars and truckies, Parents farmers, teachers and brickies make their way to their honest days toil.
It is also a time of weakness when tempers are stretched at being awakened too early from a well deserved sleep it is the time when babies stretch their lungs and children emerge from dreams.
But in a shady and less discussed world it is the time when the guilty wake up – hung over when drunkeds remember their offensive acts from the day before when the guilty hang their heads in shame – when the weakenned like peter in the courtyard sin and when people are caught in places they ought not to be.
One one such morning Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them
Somewhere in the half light of that morning a woman was caught where she ought not too have been. Married, she was found in a place where she did not belong. In her society it was a recipe for death. Toxic and shameful. The man would slip away but not her.
John tells us what unfolds next.
. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
Ever gone for a walk through your own life. I was strolling through the backroads of my life the other day. I mean if I looked through the eyes of John I would see justification and righteousness. I would see my inherrant goodness and forgive every slip as minor even if they did happen to be in the key of major.
Sometimes we just excuse ourselves and after all I am basically a pretty good person
It is only when you come to understand your need for grace that you are fully able to extend grace to another.
Jim Ryun world record middle distance runner was expected to win gold at the 1972 olympics. During one of the heats he was fouled by a Pakistani athlete and left sprawling on the track.
His coach had told him because he was fouled he would be reinstated but when it went to the officials it was declined. Eventually official footage showed that Ryun was innocent.
He said: "So they came and viewed it, and they walked out of the room shaking their heads and in essence said, 'Well, yes, you were fouled, but we've never reinstated anyone before, and we don't want to set a precedent at this point. So come back in four years and try again."
Completely shattered by what had happened to him, Ryun began to experience a number of feelings that did not closely resemble the gospel message that he had embraced only months earlier.
"I'll tell you," said Rvun, "even though I was a Christian and wanted to praise the Lord, my honest reaction at that point was to catch one of those guys in a dark room and smash his glasses or do something to really express the inner hurt that I was feeling, because I realized that I had trained all of those years for nothing.