Summary: Jesus the light of the world, in him is the light that will never (and thats the biggest ever never)allow you to walk in the darkness again, all that is required is that you follow him!
John 8:1-12 I Am, am I going to follow him or shall I remain in the darkness?
Talk about being put on the spot, a life and death decision “….Jesus had gone up 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.”
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I Am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
A wee bit of background to this story.
Biblical scholars tell us that these things occurred at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles or another name for it is the Festival of Booths; which is a time when the Jewish people celebrate when their ancestors under the leadership of Moses left Egypt and travelled for forty years across the desert, lead by a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day. At this time they lived in little huts called booths.
The Jewish people celebrate by making little huts and having a fine old time of celebration.
On the day that John is talking about in his gospel, Jesus appears in the Court of the Women, which is a place for Jewish women to be at the Temple, where they can worship God.
This is a busy place, this is also the area where offerings are collected in trumpet shaped cones that feed into the Temple Treasury, and at this time, in the temple court on the first day of the Festival of Booths a ceremony took place called, “The Illumination of the Temple.”
But wait there’s more, the lamps used in this ceremony and if you remember nothing else for this sermon, are made of a material that would illuminate the whole of the court and be seen throughout Jerusalem. This material was the priests old garments; when the clothing wore out or became too dirty to wear, it was never thrown away. The regular priest’s garments were cut up and made into wicks for the holy lamps, of the temple.
Imagine the scene, Jesus had spent the night on the Mount of Olives alone with God the Father, John’s gospel tells us he appeared in the Temple Courts, something to wonder and ponder over, I don’t know? A miracle or did he just walk there?
The sun is rising, colours are starting to appear among the forms of the country side, in the temple lamps are blazing as the wicks from the priestly garments burn with fury, the temple court is aglow with light. People gather around Jesus this rabbi as he prepares to teach. He sits, then a woman is dragged in by the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, most likely with adrenaline pumping and their pulses racing, perhaps carrying stones for the task they believe will soon be at hand.
The woman they hold capture, knowing the penalty for her act, how does she feel, is she cold one minute, hot the next, sweating under the strain of the likely consequence of the question that is about to be asked? No doubt she feels sick, likely she wants to vomit under the pressure, I know I would. Maybe her lover has already been stoned…for some reason she has so far been spared… maybe it’s to test the knowledge of this Rabbi Jesus? What does she see ahead; death, darkness and damnation?
They ask him something; it’s a fuzzy blur in her ear, ‘to stone or not, what do we do with this woman; the law says this, what do you say?’ Among the tension and brooding violence is a moment of claim as they await his reply.