Summary: The second message in a series on the "I am" discourses found in the Book of John
The Great I Am – The Light of the World
May 2, 2004
Intro: A few weeks ago, we began a study on the self descriptions of Jesus found in John better known as the “I am” discourses – 7 identifying statements made by the Messiah to help us to understand He wasn’t just any man, but the God/man – God incarnate who came to seek and to save the lost. He said – I am:
Trans: Last week we looked at the “the Bread of Life” – where Jesus explained that He was the true manna from God who when appropriately digested would give true satisfaction unto eternal life. This week we’ll look at the light of the world.
Insert: As I started thinking about darkness, I realized how unsettling it can be. If we were to cut the lights this AM and make a run for the door – we‘d have 50 broken noses. Yet w/ just a little bit of light, we could all get out of here safely and w/out incident.
Have you ever gotten out of bed at night and stumped your toe on the bed or door jam. It’s not fun. A few months ago, I got up to get a drink of water and ran smack into the door – it just about knocked me out. Darkness is dangerous.
Funny: Making a decision in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went calling on his girl. He said, “Why when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things w/ me – I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” said the hired man, “and look what you got.”
Insert: I’m telling you – darkness can be a dangerous thing – especially when it comes to spirituality. Thus, as we pick up our story in John 8, we find darkness abounding even at the dawning of a new day. (read text)
I CONFRONTATION vs. 3-9
Insert: This is one of the more diabolical stories in the Bible and truly reveals the depth of decay, darkness, and depravity found in the hearts of men.
Note: Here we find the spiritual leaders of Israel (men who knew the law of God) intentionally plotting to trap Jesus by setting up a woman to be humiliated and even executed for their own personal cause. Good religious men gone bad b/c there pathetic brand of religion was challenged and threatened by Jesus.
Quote: Men who claimed to know the Law of God, yet they didn’t recognize the God of the Law standing right before them.
Insert: It is amazing how people respond when their religion gets challenged – but Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.
Truth: Unfortunately though, these shenanigans still persist today among churchgoers. Well-meaning people doing things in God’s name God Himself wouldn’t do. Instead of fighting for the truth and a genuine relationship w/ God – we fight for our religious comforts and traditions. It’s amazing how low a person will stoop to protect their religion and how quickly they will sell out their relationship.
A The Plot
Note: Put Jesus in a no win situation – present to Him a situation that he can’t solve w/out either breaking Roman law or Jewish law.
B The Ploy
Note: Bring him a woman caught in the act of adultery and ask him to judge her appropriately. Roman law forbid the Jews from condemning the adulterer while Jewish Law demanded that the adulterer be condemned unto death.
Trans: So they wait for what they think is just the right time – it’s early in the AM and a good size crowd had gathered to hear Jesus speak – we can defame, discredit, and diminish Jesus in front of everyone.
Insert: They were smug – they just knew they had a full-proof plan (self-righteous people generally think that way). They can’t see past the plank in their own eyes – and little did they know they set themselves up for a fall.
C The Predicament
1 Where was the man?
Note: It takes two to tango. It was obvious it was a trap from the get go or else they would have thrown the man into the ring w/ the woman.
Meaning either the woman was not actually in adultery, or one of the Pharisees (or acquaintances) was involved in some extra curricular activity. By the way, the Greek is clear – this woman was literally in the act of adultery when they yanked from her bed and thrust her half naked before Jesus and the crowd.
They didn’t think their plan through very well – they were so intent on getting Jesus – they didn’t realize they were sabotaging themselves.