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Summary: The hand that wrote God’s law in stone writes your sin in the sand.

MORE THAN RULES

JOHN 8:1-11

Big Idea: The hand that wrote God’s law in stone writes your sin in the sand.

NOTE: The idea for this sermon was inspired by the Not a Fan series developed by Kyle Idleman.

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, "If any one of you is without sin, let him 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."

Take a look at the photo that is being projected on the screen. That is my 7th grade football team photo! I am in there somewhere along with a lot of my friends. {I will mention a few friends & some quick descriptives}.

Now this photo was a big deal to us … WE WERE ON THE FOOTBALL TEAM!!! And I … was a linebacker! Never mind that I seldom played I still envisioned myself as the next Dick Butkus!

There is one more important point to my story … we were the “B” team. But we were still excited because WE MADE THE TEAM!

That’s a big deal in Texas. This whole “Friday night lights” scenario is alive and well there. There were a few junior high schools that funneled into the same High School and we were a class 5a school with over 4,000 students. Our football stadium rivals some division II college stadiums and the thought of someday being on that team was euphoric!

For most of us. But not for the one I will call … Eddie. You see, for Eddie to be on the “B’ team was failure. His dad had imposed some very high expectation … even rules on Eddie and being a “B” team player was not acceptable. Either the coaches were idiots (Which Eddie’s father was going to fix) or Eddie was not applying himself (Which Eddie’s father was going to fix). This was not just a football issue – this applied to every aspect of Eddie’s life. He was expected to excel in school. Nothing short of valedictorian would suffice his dad. The problem was … Eddie could not keep his dad’s rules. He was, in fact, a “B” teamer and he was in fact a “B” student. There was nothing wrong with either but there was to Eddie’s dad.

After a few years this began to take its toll on Eddie. By the time we were in the eleventh grade Eddie was sullen, turned inward, depressed and dark. He simply could not measure up to his dad’s standards.

There are a number of ways that people respond to unreasonable and imposed expectations. Some self-medicate. Some cheat. Some rebel. And there are two other ways that people can respond to “rules” that are impossible to keep which remind me of the story in John 8:1-11 … the story of the woman caught not keeping her Father’s high expectations … I mean the woman caught in adultery.

Some in this story responded to these rules (which they could not keep) by MASQUERADING AND OVER COMPENSATING … they pretended they were keeping them perfectly and that others should/could too. The other way … Eddie’s way and this woman’s way … they RESIGNED TO BEING FAILURES.

Now please understand – in this instance the real problem is not “the rules of the Father.” The problem is the way some understood them. Both then and now. Some saw keeping the rules to be the end game … all that mattered. But the rules were designed to draw us to God and reveal Him. The rules were a map that leads to a destination they were not the destination itself. I will speak of this more in a moment.

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