Summary: A powerful series based on the book "Grace: More than we Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine." The series will look at the many different aspects of Grace. part 3
November 25, 2012
Grace - Part 3
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 the act of 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?”
Their voices yanked her out of bed. “Get up you harlot! What kind of woman are you?” She was caught, caught in the act of adultery. There was no denying it, it was obvious what was going on. She was guilty, she knew it, he knew it, they all knew it.
She was pulled and dragged from the bedroom, throwing on some clothes as they grabbed her to bring her to the temple. People were looking out of their windows and doors, staring her down. They were going to pronounce her sentence. It was an open and shut case. She would be guilty.
She was brought into the midst of an early morning Bible study, being led by the great Teacher, Jesus. All eyes were upon her. She wanted to look around at her accusers and catch a glimpse at them. They were of all ages, from student to retired priest. They were all there, all pointing a condemning finger at her.
They asked Jesus for His opinion on this case. Why? John tells us, 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.
For the first time all morning there was silence. Nobody spoke. They were waiting for an answer. Jesus didn’t speak, He stooped down and wrote in the dirt. Jesus was already sitting and was teaching. It was common for teachers to sit and teach. So, as the people approached Him, Jesus was already sitting down, but before He stood up . . . He stooped down!
We would expect Jesus to stand first, we would expect Him to stand up and maybe step on something so everyone could hear Him. As He stooped down, He was lower than every person who was there. He was lower than the woman. They were already looking down on the woman, but now they have to look even lower.
Jesus was prone to stoop. He stooped to wash the disciples feet, He stooped to embrace the children, He stooped to heal the sick, He stooped to pull Peter out of the sea, He stooped to take His lashes and He stooped to pick up His cross.
In the Old Testament, the word for grace comes from the family of the word ‘to stoop.’ Grace bends and lowers itself to give to another. Then Jesus drew in the dirt. We all wonder and guess what He drew or wrote, but we don’t know.
What we do know is when God first stooped and touched dirt. The result was the creation of humanity. Maybe it was a reminder that we all come from dirt, and one day will return to dirt. Maybe he diverted attention from the woman, since they would all be focused on Jesus.
They kept pushing and asking for an answer. John tells us ~ 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up. . .
Now He stood up now. He’s straight and tall. John finds it important to tell us that information. He doesn’t stand for long. The only reason He seems to stand up, is to defend her, since nobody else has the courage to do so.
Understand the law. Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 22 ~ If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
It’s a clear cut law. Yet Jesus ~ 7 said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
This is how I interpret these words from Jesus, “Go ahead and stone her, go ahead, but let those who have never sinned throw the first stone. 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Nobody speaks, we don’t know what He wrote, but again, there’s silence. It only took one question. 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.
Jesus wasn’t finished. Listen to what He said ~ 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”