Summary: It is not a question of IF we have sin in our lives, but how we deal with sin in our lives. In John 8, we see how Jesus helped an adulterous woman deal with the sin in her life, and he will do the same for you and me.
Can you imagine being in Time’s Square in New York City, and there on the jumbo-tron screen was every sin you have ever committed being displayed for all to see?
How horrible would that be? How humiliating would that be?
We all know we have sin in our life, we just don’t want everyone else to know about it.
Thank the Lord for the way that Jesus deals with us and our sin. He doesn’t condone it. He doesn’t pretend it’s not there. Instead he says to us, “Go.” He tells us “Your sins are forgiven, now go and live for me like you should. Go and live a life apart from sin.”
Praise God for the wonderful compassion, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ.
We see this illustrated in an encounter that Jesus had with an adulterous woman in John 8.
Let’s first set the scene of this encounter.
Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he is in the temple courts.
It is the early morning hours.
There are crowds around him.
It was the custom of the day for teachers to sit and students to stand.
In the middle of his lesson- the teachers of the law and Pharisees drag in a woman.
The teachers of the law/Pharisees crouched
outside this woman’s window.
They know what kind of a woman she is and
they know she is an easy target.
They wait until she is middle of the most
intimate act that people can be
involved in and they rush in, pull back the
covers and yank her from the bed.
Now it takes two to commit adultery, isn’t it
interesting the man is let go.
Under the law of Moses both should have been
brought and stoned.
So the teachers of the law and the Pharisees
bring this woman with little if
any clothes and make her stand before the
whole crowd of people.
They make her stand before the crowd. No
hiding her face or her body.
She must stand humiliated before the group.
Now lets see what Jesus will do.
Jesus begins to write on the ground.
What is he writing? Who knows. Scholars
have speculated this for a long
time. Did he write Forgiveness? Did he
begin writing specific sins committed by the
accusers? Whatever he wrote, it cut at the
heart of the mature men first then the
younger men, until all were gone.
Jesus sends the woman away. He doesn’t let her off the hook. He doesn’t condone her sin. He sends her away and tells her to change her life.
A. Our sin always catches up with us.
There is no such thing as getting away with sin. There may be some time between the act of sin and the punishment. But there is no free sin.
Sin has a strange way of catching up to us when we least expect it.
It smacks us in the face and all of sudden its right there out in the open for the whole world to see.
We can sin in secret, we can run and hide, but our sin will catch up to us.
Many of you may be hiding from God. Know one knows, not your church family, not your friends, maybe not even your family. But God knows. You can’t hide from him.
Adam and Eve tried to hide from God. It didn’t work.
Annanias and Saphira tried to hide their sin from Holy Spirit. It didn’t work.
Our sin will find us.
Jesus said clearly- a man reaps what he sows.
B. The world and Satan respond to sin with guilt and shame.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees totally humiliated this woman. Maybe they felt like she deserved it.
They were not concerned about compassion or forgiveness or grace or her life being changed. They were concerned about the law, justice, and getting at Jesus.
When the world and sometimes the church respond to people sometimes Christians in the same way, they are so far from the heart of Christ.
Many will say- Let’s practice church discipline. They deserve it. They should feel guilt and shame considering what they have done.
And it is true that we should feel guilt, shame, and remorse over our sin.
What if the people had gone ahead and began to stone the woman?
I think Jesus would have stepped in and took it for her.
C. When we fall vulnerable before Jesus we find grace and forgiveness.
Neither do I condemn you.
There is nothing you can do to make me love you less.
There is no reason to run and hide from God.
There is no reason to live a Christian life full of guilt and shame.
Jesus wants to hold us, to love us, to forgive us.