Love Speaks A Better Word: The Accusation of the Religious & the Judgment of the Law (Jesus, Don’t You Know They Must Pay For What They’ve Done?)

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first thirty verses of the eighth chapter. “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When. Jesus had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).

 

            “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come” (John 8:12-20).

 

            “Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come> And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake unto them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me. I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him” (John 8:21-30),

 

            When you come to the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find one of the most provocative passages in any of the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. As you come to the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will encounter the awesome and incredible truth of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery—and not only caught in the act of adultery but also taken in the act of adultery. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of what is presented within this chapter as it has the potential to directly impact our view, our perception and our opinion of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you begin reading with and from the first and opening verses of the eighth chapter you will find how Jesus went unto the mount of Olives after a discourse and dialogue with the Jews which were present in Jewry and the city of Jerusalem. Early the next morning, however, we find Jesus coming again into the Temple—coming again into the very place where there was a division present among many of the Jews concerning who He was. It is in the previous chapter we find and encounter a powerful declaration made by the apostle John that within the city of Jerusalem there was a great division among the Jews as many believed and were claiming that He was the Prophet while others believed and would make the claim that He was indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God. In the midst of all of this we find the chief priests, the Pharisees and many of the religious leaders of that day looking to seize and lay hold of Jesus that they might effectively remove Him from the midst of the crowd and from the midst of Jewry.

 

            If there is one thing that is so incredibly astounding about what is found in the eighth chapter it’s that in the previous chapter we find Jesus walking in Galilee and refusing to walk in Jewry because they sought to kill Him. Even during a time of one of the feast of the Jews—the feast of tabernacles when Jews from throughout Galilee and Judaea would come unto the city of Jerusalem to celebrate—Jesus’ brethren urged Him to go unto the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. Initially Jesus refused their urge to journey unto the city of Jerusalem at the time of the feast and would make the claim and declaration that His time was not yet come. Ultimately, however, we find Jesus making the decision to come up unto the city of Jerusalem and unto the feast albeit quietly and privately. What makes the seventh chapter so incredible unique and powerful at the same time is when you think about the fact that there were many within the city who were looking and asking for Him. There were many among the Jews in the city of Jerusalem who were inquisitive as to whether or not the Lord Jesus would in fact come unto the feast. Of course we know and understand that Jesus would not only come up unto the city of Jerusalem at the time of the feast but would also enter into the Temple and begin teaching the people in the midst of it. It would be there in the city of Jerusalem where there would be a great division that would be present among the Jews as there were those who believed that Jesus was the Christ while others believed that He was the Prophet. In the midst of all of this we find the chief priests and the Pharisees seeking to lay hold of and seize Jesus by force that they might destroy and remove Him from the midst of the people.

            The words and language found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative is quite remarkable when you consider it for at the beginning of this chapter we find Jesus initially going unto the mount of Olives before going unto the Temple early in the morning. It would be early in the morning when Jesus would come unto the Temple and would begin teaching the people. In fact the apostle John would write and record how all the people came unto Him and how He sat down and taught them. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that it was there in the Temple where Jesus would have been surrounded by such a great crowd and multitude of people as He taught them. It is important for us to recognize and understand this particular truth for it would be in the context of Jesus in the midst of the Temple and Jesus teaching the people that we find the scribes and the Pharisees bringing unto Him a woman who was taken in adultery. In all reality it is quite interesting to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for it not only suggests that this woman was caught in the act of adultery but it also suggests and speaks of this woman being taken in adultery. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and pay close attention to when reading the words in this passage of Scripture it’s that this woman was not only caught in the act of adultery but also taken in and from the act of adultery. Oh it is quite remarkable and intriguing when you read this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the fact that in order for this woman to be taken in and presumably from the act of adultery she had to first be caught in the act of adultery.

 

            How absolutely incredible and tremendous this truly is when you take the time to think about it for Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how this woman came to be caught in the act of adultery. We know that when she was brought unto Jesus into the Temple in the midst of a great multitude of people who came to listen to and hear Him speak the scribes and Pharisees would declare unto Jesus how this woman was taken in adultery—and not only in adultery but in the very act. The scribes and Pharisees would go on to declare concerning this woman how Moses in the Law commanded them that such should be stoned. After rehearsing what Moses would say and speak in the law the scribes and Pharisees would then ask Jesus what Jesus said concerning this woman. In all reality it is truly unique to read the words which the scribes and Pharisees had spoken concerning this woman for there are essentially two dynamics which are at play here in her life. On the one hand there is the dynamic of what Moses said and what Moses had written in the Law concerning the woman and on the other hand there was what Jesus spoke concerning this woman. In all reality if we are to understand that which is found in this passage of Scripture we must needs recognize that there are two different views and opinions of this woman—namely, that which Moses and the Law had spoken concerning her and that which the Lord Jesus had spoken concerning her. Not only this but the scribes and Pharisees would entirely and altogether lean toward that which Moses spoke and commanded concerning this woman and would have undoubtedly sought to stone this woman to death because of her adultery, because of her infidelity and because of her indiscretion.

 

            In all reality I am absolutely and completely convinced that when we read the words found in this passage of Scripture we must needs acknowledge and understand that it is a powerful picture of two different opinions concerning this woman. What’s more is that this chapter not only highlights two different opinions concerning this woman but it also highlights two different mindsets concerning her sin and what was perceived as the just penalty of her sin. This woman was both caught and taken in adultery—and not only taken in adultery but also taken in the very act of adultery—and the scribes and Pharisees approached Jesus based on what Moses spoke in the Law. It’s quite astounding to think about the fact that the scribes and the Pharisees—the religious leaders which were present during those days—would not only approach Jesus concerning that which the Law had spoken concerning this woman, but they also approached Jesus in the Temple concerning that which the Law had spoken concerning this woman. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth as it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth concerning this woman and how there were and there would have been three different views and opinions toward her. Not only were there three different views and opinions toward this woman but there were also three different views and opinions concerning the iniquity and transgression she had committed. Upon reading the words found in this passage you will find that the first view and opinion of and toward this woman was that of the Law and what Moses wrote and commanded—namely, that such a one be stoned. The second view and opinion was that of religion and of the scribes and Pharisees—those who would have assumed stoned this woman to death because of her iniquity based entirely and altogether on the Law given by Moses. The third and final view and opinion presented within this passage of Scripture is that of Jesus and how Jesus would respond and react toward this woman and her sin.

 

            If we are to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture we must needs recognize and understand that everything hinges around that which Moses commanded in the Law concerning such a woman and that which Jesus would speak concerning the woman. The scribes and the Pharisees already knew what the Law had commanded concerning this woman and now they sought to understand what Jesus would say and speak of her. We must needs pay close and careful attention to this as this is perhaps one of the greatest questions many still ask and still struggle with—not only within their own lives but also toward others. I would dare say that judgment and the act of judging is others is not at all based on that which Jesus might speak concerning another individual but that which the Law says and speaks concerning the individual. What’s more is the act of judging is based on the view, the perception and the opinion of religion and what it feels, believes and desires ought to be done toward that one who was not only caught in sin but also taken in the very act of sin. One of the greatest questions presented among us within our culture and society is what the Law says and speaks concerning those who are and those who have been caught in the act of iniquity and what Jesus says and speaks concerning those who are and who have been caught in the act of adultery. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it draws and calls our attention to the tremendous truth concerning one of the greatest causes of judgment, accusation and criticism within many of our churches. If we are being truthful and honest with ourselves and with the Holy Spirit we must needs admit and acknowledge that at the very heart and center of all judgment and accusation is a view and opinion which is closely aligned with what the Law says and speaks concerning another individual.

 

            I am absolutely convinced that if we are to truly recognize and understand that which is found within this passage of Scripture we must consider the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew as well as the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke. What’s more is I firmly believe we must needs consider the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul written unto the Roman saints as well as the words written in the second chapter of the epistle written by James the half brother of Jesus. In addition to this we must also consider the words which are found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome as well as the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Corinth. It is within these passages where we not only encounter and come face to face with warnings against judgment and accusation but we also read of a new life that is found in Christ and how Christ not only delivers and sets us free from condemnation and from the law of sin and death but also how we can be entirely and altogether new in Christ. What’s more is I would dare say that we must needs also include the words which are found in the final verse of the fifty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah. With all of this in mind I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture:

 

            “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the bream out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

 

            “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. >Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:31-38).    

 

And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceives not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out firs the bream out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye> for a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:39-45).

 

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to the truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such tings, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? OR despises thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurseet up unto thyself wrath against the day of warath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have. Not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Romans 2:1-16).

 

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and y et offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou. Kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:1-13).

 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-5).

 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be confirmed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,  nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).

 

For the love of Christ constrainteth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet not henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed way; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who k new no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

 

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals int eh fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the aster to destroy. No weapon formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 54:16-17).

 

I realize there might be some who read the words in this writing and might wonder why I would choose to include so much Scripture. The truth of the matter is that the passages which were presented unto you not only demonstrate the tremendous danger and warning against judging others but also the powerful truth of a new life that can be found in Christ—a new life that can found in Christ who did not come into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found within this gospel narrative written by the apostle John is that which is found in the third chapter when Jesus would speak unto a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus by night. It would be at night when Nicodemus would come unto the Lord Jesus Christ inquiring of Him as a great rabbi and teacher. During this encounter we not only find what is perhaps one of—if not the most beloved verses in all of Scripture but we also find a powerful declaration of the purpose and mission of the Son being sent into the earth. I am absolutely convinced that if we are to understand the words which are found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in the third chapter. The words found in the third chapter highlight and underscore the main reason and purpose the eternal Father sent the Lord Jesus Christ unto the earth. What’s more is that we must needs realize and recognize that the living and eternal God did not send the Son into the earth to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. This must be recognized and understood when reading the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John because that which the Pharisees were looking for Jesus to do was not only condemn this woman but also accuse and judge her according to the Law of Moses. With this in mind I invite you to briefly consider the words which are found in the third chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John:

 

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were vil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:14-21).

 

What we find in the eighth chapter of this gospel narrative written by the apostle John is not only that which the Law had spoken concerning this woman but the Pharisees and scribes seeking to judge and condemn this woman according to the Law. What’s more is the scribes and the Pharisees were looking for what Jesus believed concerning this woman and were undoubtedly hoping He would join them in their condemnation toward and against this woman. There is not a doubt in my mind the scribes and the Pharisees brought this woman who had not only been caught but also taken in the act of adultery unto Jesus in the Temple seeking His approval to condemn and judge her according to the Law of Moses. Not only this but I would dare say the scribes and the Pharisees were looking for Jesus to align Himself with the Law of Moses and what the Law wrote concerning this woman. Oh that we would understand the powerful truth that there is that which the Law and that which Moses wrote concerning us in our transgression, our iniquity and our sin and there is that which the Lord Jesus Christ says and speaks concerning us and our transgression and our iniquity. There is that which Moses commanded and wrote in the Law concerning our sin and it is based on what Moses wrote in the Law that others seek to judge, accuse and condemn us. It is for this reason I chose to include the words which were written and recorded in the gospels written by the apostle Matthew and Luke as well as the words which were written in the epistles written by the apostle Paul unto the saints at Rome and the epistle written by James.

 

If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning judgment it’s that more often than not judgment is not based on righteous judgment but is based on that which the Law has spoken concerning others. The scribes and the Pharisees knew what Moses had commanded and written in the Law and it was based on what Moses wrote they not only brought this woman who had been caught in the act of adultery into the presence of Jesus, but also sought to stone her. The scribes and the Pharisees were not only looking to do that which the Law had permitted and commanded but were looking for Jesus to align Himself with the Law and approve of what the Law had spoken concerning this woman. LOVE SPEAKS A BETTER WORD! THE LAW SPEAKS A CERTAIN WORD CONCERNING YOU BUT LOVE SPEAKS A BETTER WORD! Oh how I absolutely love the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that the scribes and the Pharisees knew the word which the Law had spoken concerning this woman and they were now looking for the word which the Lord Jesus had spoken concerning her. The scribes and the Pharisees knew what the Law had commanded concerning this woman and knew the word the Law had spoken of her and they brought her into the presence of Jesus based solely on the word found in the Law of Moses. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth concerning this woman and how the scribes and Pharisees not only sought to accuse her in the presence of Jesus according to the Law of Moses but also sought to have Jesus accuse and condemn this woman according to the Law.

 

I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but wonder what would and could have happened to this woman—and not only to this woman but also to the gospel itself—if Jesus had not only aligned Himself with what the Law had spoken concerning this woman but also picked up a stone and cast it at this woman. Imagine what the gospel would and could have looked like if Jesus had picked up a stone there in the midst of the Temple and sought to hurl it at this woman according to what was written in the Law of Moses. In all reality that which was written in the Law of Moses not only pronounced guilt against and upon this woman but also permitted judgment against her by stoning her to death. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this for when we think and speak about the law we must needs recognize that the law not only pronounces guilt against us but the Law also permits judgment against the transgressor. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words which are found in this passage of scripture for what we find here is the scribes and Pharisees doing what the Law of Moses permitted against this woman and declaring what the Law pronounced against her and against the iniquity and transgression she had been found to have committed.

 

THE LAW PRONOUNCES GUILT UPON THE TRANSGRESSOR AND PERMITS JUDGMENT TO BE CARRIED OUT AGAINST THE TRANSGRESSOR! As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth concerning this woman and how this woman was not only caught in the very act of adultery but also taken in the act. What is present within this passage of Scripture is entirely and altogether intriguing when you take the time to consider it for it calls and draws our attention to what the Law pronounced concerning the guilty and what the Law permitted to be carried out against the guilty. One of the greatest truths found in this passage of Scripture is the fact that this woman was indeed and was in fact guilty. There is absolutely no denying and no mistaking the truth surrounding this woman and the fact that she was indeed guilty of that for which she had been accused. The scribes and the Pharisees had not brought into the presence of Jesus one who was not indeed guilty of transgression and one who was not guilty of iniquity and yet it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for this woman to be pronounced guilty according to the Law of Moses but the scribes and the Pharisees also called the attention of Jesus to the transgression of this woman and what the Law had spoken concerning her iniquity and transgression. We must needs recognize and understand this as it calls and draws our attention to something truly astonishing when reading the words found in this narrative. It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here bring us face to face with the scribes and Pharisees not only accusing this woman in the presence of Jesus but also seeking to carry out the sentence of judgment against her.

 

I am absolutely gripped and captivated when reading the words found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John as it brings us face to face with the word which Moses and the Law had spoken concerning this woman and that which Jesus would and could have spoken concerning her. One of the greatest truths we must needs understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that Jesus could have aligned Himself with religion—and not only aligned Himself with religion but also aligned Himself with that which was written in the Law of Moses. Jesus was present with the eternal God when He with His finger wrote the Law on the tablets of stone which Moses would bring down unto the people. Jesus was there when the living and eternal God had spoken and written the Law which would be found in what would become known as “The Law of Moses.” Jesus would have been aware of that which was written in the Ten Commandments and would have been aware of the commandment against adultery. Jesus would have been aware of what the Law had commanded concerning those who committed the act of adultery and how the Law called for those who committed the act to be stoned to death. What we must needs realize and recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that the scribes and the Pharisees did not bring one unto Jesus who was not guilty and they were not wrong when they quoted that which the Law had spoken concerning her. The scribes and the Pharisees knew the Law and what Moses had written within it and it was based on the Law and their understanding of the Law that caused them to bring this woman into the presence of Jesus in the Temple of the LORD seeking judgment against and upon this woman.

 

What we must needs acknowledge within this passage is that the scribes and the Pharisees weren’t merely seeking to accuse this woman but they were looking to condemn and judge her. We must needs understand that the scribes and the Pharisees weren’t wrong when they spoke of this woman’s iniquity and transgression and they didn’t bring this woman into the presence of Jesus accusing her falsely. There was nothing false in the accusation of the scribes and Pharisees when this woman was brought into the presence of Jesus. WE would like to think that Jesus delivered this woman out of the clutches and grasp of false accusation in the company and presence of the scribes and Pharisees and yet the truth of the matter is that this isn’t at all what happened. The scribes and the Pharisees weren’t wrong in their accusation against and their accusation of this woman and the Law of Moses did permit and did allow judgment against her for the iniquity and transgression she had committed. We have a great need to recognize and understand that this woman was indeed and was in fact guilty of that for which she was accused in the presence of Jesus and what she was accused of in the midst of the Temple. With this being said I can’t help but wonder if stoning was a regular practice during those days according to the Law of Moses. We know the scribes and Pharisees brought this woman into the presence of Jesus seeking to accuse her according to the Law of Moses and judge her according to the same Law and yet there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if during those days such judgments were actually carried out against transgressors. The scribes and Pharisees had brought this woman into the presence of Jesus accusing her because of her iniquity and looking to judge her according to the Law and yet no such reality would be manifested on this particular day.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the fact that there was what the scribes and Pharisees accused this woman of and there was what Moses commanded in the Law concerning such a woman and then there was the word of Jesus—the word which Jesus would speak concerning her. With this being said it’s actually quite astounding to read how initially Jesus didn’t even speak a single word to the scribes and Pharisees—either concerning their accusation of this woman, nor concerning what was written in the Law of Moses, nor even what he Himself thought and perceived of this woman. Jesus would stoop down and begin writing in the ground as if He did not hear and had not heard the words which the scribes and Pharisees had spoken concerning this woman. What is so incredible about this passage is that when Jesus stooped down toward the ground and began writing on it the scribes and the Pharisees continued asking Him—something which is actually quite remarkable when you think about it. It wasn’t enough for the scribes and the Pharisees to accuse this woman in the presence of Jesus and it wasn’t enough for the scribes and the Pharisees to seek to judge this woman according to the Law of Moses but when it seemed that Jesus wouldn’t speak a word but would instead write in the ground they would further press their accusation and further press what might have been their desire and motive for judgment toward and against this woman. The apostle John makes it very clear that when the scribes and the Pharisees realized and recognized that Jesus was writing in the ground instead of acknowledging what they had spoken unto Him they would continue pressing Him desiring an answer and response from Him. How absolutely incredible it is that the initial word which Jesus would speak in response to the accusation of the scribes and Pharisees and the judgment of the Law of Moses was whatever was written in the ground.

 

            THE UNKNOWN MESSAGE ON THE GROUND! THE UNKOWN MESSAGE WRITTEN IN THE GROUND OF THE TEMPLE! One of the greatest mysteries that surrounds this passage of Scripture is that we have absolutely no clue what Jesus wrote when He stooped down toward the ground and began writing upon it. The apostle John provides absolutely no clue or any indication as to what Jesus had indeed written in the ground and we are left to speculate what He did in fact write there. Is it possible that the same hand which wrote on the tablets of stone was now writing on the ground in dirt and dust the same words which had previously been written on those stone tablets? Is it possible that Jesus had stooped down to the ground and written the accusations which had been brought against some of the scribes and Pharisees themselves? Is it possible that Jesus stooped down in the ground and began writing the individual sins and transgressions which were committed by these scribes and Pharisees? What’s more is that when we read how Jesus stood up and declared “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” and when He stooped down and wrote on the ground all those which heard it being convicted in and by their own conscience went out one by one beginning at the eldest even unto the last. Perhaps two of the greatest mysteries found in this passage is not only what Jesus had written in the ground but also whether or not when the scribes and Pharisees had brought this woman into the presence of Jesus and accused her of adultery there were those who heard Jesus teach who would themselves pick up stones. Is it possible that when the scribes and Pharisees declared what was written in the Law of Moses and how the Law called for such a woman to be stoned there weren’t those who originally began listening to the words which Jesus spoke and who would cease listening to His words and would take up stones in their hands.

 

            FROM LISTENING TO PICKING UP STONES! Oh I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture as what is presented here not only suggests that the scribes and the Pharisees themselves sought to stone this woman according to that which was written in the Law of Moses but also how there might have been others present there who might very well have joined and aligned themselves together with the scribes and the Pharisees. Is it possible that there were those who were present on this particular occasion who would transition themselves from listening to the words of Jesus and would pick up stones with their hands with which they would cast against this woman? There is not a doubt in my mind that the scribes and Pharisees themselves would have had stones in their hands with which to cast at this woman, however, I can’t help but also wonder if there weren’t others who were present in the midst of this crowd who also chose to take up stones to cast at this woman. Pause for a moment and consider the tremendous transition from listening to the words which Jesus spoke to picking up and holding a stone in your hand ready to stone a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. We know that those who sought to accuse and judge this woman would each go out being convicted by their own conscience beginning with the eldest and continuing to the youngest, however, I can’t help but wonder if this encounter also thinned out the crowd and number of individuals who had gathered themselves in the Temple to hear and listen to Jesus. What if when Jesus was left alone with this woman it wasn’t just the scribes and the Pharisees who departed having been convicted by their own conscience and dropping the stones in their hands but also many of those who originally gathered themselves unto Jesus to hear and listen to Him teach had also departed from the Temple.

 

            There is something truly remarkable when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus and how He was brought a woman who had been caught and taken in the act of adultery. While Jesus was teaching in the Temple—perhaps even about judging others or something along those lines—the scribes and Pharisees would show up bringing a woman who had been taken in adultery and in the very act. OH I continue to be incredibly amazed with and by the fact that the scribes and Pharisees did not falsely accuse this woman and they were not wrong in what they had spoken concerning her. When this woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought into the presence of Jesus—not only was she brought into the presence of Jesus with the accusation of the scribes and the Pharisees but she was also brought into the presence of Jesus with that which the Law had spoken concerning her. THE ACCUSATION OF RELIGION AND THE JUDGMENT OF THE LAW! Stop and consider what is found in this passage of scripture as not only was this woman brought into the presence of Jesus with the accusation of religion based on her iniquity and transgression but she was also brought into the presence of Jesus based on the judgment of the Law. When the scribes and Pharisees brought this woman into the presence of Jesus—while it was indeed true they were seeking to tempt Jesus with their question we must needs understand they were looking for judgment. The scribes and Pharisees brought this woman taken in the act of adultery looking for and expecting judgment from the Lord Jesus Christ toward and against her because of her iniquity and indiscretion. Oh Scripture isn’t at all clear whether this woman was herself married and had carried out an affair against her husband or whether or not the man she was with was married and was carrying out an affair with her. Regardless of what the scenario was we know that this woman was indeed and was in fact guilty and the scribes and pharisees demanded judgment.

 

            OH I can’t help but think about what is found here in this passage of Scripture and see a powerful picture of what is present and what has been present in our culture and society over the past year plus. What is present in this passage of scripture is the scribes and the Pharisees seeking judgment and quite honestly justice against this woman for the sin and iniquity she had committed and they brought her into the presence of Jesus as if they were looking for permission to carry out their desire for judgment and justice. There is not a doubt in my mind that many within our culture and society today are in the same position as they bring others whom they have accused—perhaps even those whom they have not falsely accused and who are indeed guilty—and they seek judgment and justice against them. Such individuals look to Jesus for license and permission to exercise judgment against such individuals who are perhaps guilty or who they themselves might think and perceive as being guilty. Our culture and society has been entirely and altogether saturated and filled with account after account of men and women crying out for judgment—and not only crying out for judgment but also justice. In light of the events which took place in Minneapolis and the death of George Floyd as his neck was under the knee of Derek Chauvin there have been countless individuals who have cried out for judgment and for justice. Not only this but in light of the events which took place on January 6th at the Capital Building in Washington, D.C., we find men and women who are crying out for judgment and justice.

 

            That which is present before us in this passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful picture of the scribes and Pharisees crying out for judgment against this woman and justice for the act she had committed. What’s more is I would venture to say that none of the scribes and Pharisees were personally impacted and affected by this woman’s actions and yet they not only accused her but also sought judgment and justice against her. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand this for this highlights and underscores what is found within our own culture and society during these days in which we are living. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found within our culture and society is when you think about and consider the fact that men and women who have not been directly impacted and affected by events which have taken place have restored to and given themselves to accusation of others who are guilty—and not only accusation against those who are guilty but also offense with, toward and against them. What’s more is such individuals find themselves in a place where they are crying out for judgment and justice against such individuals. As a direct result of their witnessing wrongs and atrocities being committed in our culture and society they begin lifting their voices up and crying out for justice and judgment. The truth of the matter is the fact that I would dare say there are men and women who are even looking unto Jesus for permission to call and cry out for judgment and justice. I would dare say there is a powerful mixture of men and women who simply resort to crying out for justice and judgment against those who have committed wrongs in our culture and society while there are others who are looking unto Jesus for permission to cry out for judgment and justice. Such individuals join and align themselves with protests and cry out for judgment and justice and yet what we must needs recognize is that they are in all reality doing something that is no different than what the scribes and Pharisees were doing in the presence of Jesus in the Temple when they not only accused this woman but also called for justice and judgment toward and against her based on her sin and because of what the Law of Moses commanded and permitted.

 

            It is worth noting that here in the court of the Temple in the presence of Jesus religion not only accused the guilty but also sought judgment and justice against the guilty. Not only this but religion also sought to accuse the guilty and demand judgment and justice against the guilty in the presence of Jesus and looked for Jesus to align Himself with their motives and intentions. How absolutely remarkable it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and to see a tremendous picture of what is found within our own culture and society today—particularly and especially after the events which have taken place over the past year plus. Throughout and over the last year plus we have seen men and women who have been indirectly impacted by events that have taken place within this nation—whether it was the death of George Floyd or the events surrounding January 6th and the Capital Building or any other events—and yet they have lifted and raised up their voices in unison against the guilty. What we must needs recognize is that much of what men and women are crying out—at least in terms of accusation—is not inaccurate and is in fact true. We know the actions which were committed by Derek Chauvin and we know the actions which were committed by those who stormed the Capital Building on January 6th and we know they are guilty. We know those who rioted, vandalized, destroyed and looted many of our cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd are in fact guilty of the atrocities they committed. With this being said, however, we must needs recognize and understand that in light of all this there have been universal cries for judgment and justice—not only from culture and society but also from religion and those who are professing Christians.

 

            I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but see them as a powerful picture of what is taking place and what has taken place in our culture, in our society and in out nation. The scribes and the Pharisees knew what the law had demanded and permitted and they sought to judge this woman to the fullest extent of the law. The scribes and the Pharisees not only accused this woman of her wrongdoing but also demanded she be punished to the fullest extent of the Law, thus demanding and crying out for judgment and justice. Oh we must needs pay close attention to this as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth concerning the religious elite at this time who represent and paint a powerful picture of many within our culture and society—those who have not only accused the guilty but who have also cried out for and demanded justice and judgment for the actions they’ve committed. We must needs realize that this even applies to men and women within many of our churches and houses of worship as they have also cried out for judgment and justice and have given themselves to raising up their voices in protests throughout and across this nation. In fact there were even certain signs and chants that carried the message of “No justice, no peace.” Such a message is incredibly dangerous and potentially catastrophic within our culture and nation as it suggests that unless judgment is provided and carried out there can in fact be no peace within our culture, within our society and within our nation. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we have witnessed and are still witnessing is countless men and women who much like the religious system in this particular chapter are indeed crying out for judgment and justice against the actions others have committed. Not only this but there are even those who profess to be Christians who feel as though their cries and their voices are justified and are even seeking for some type of approval by the Lord as though He would join their chorus for judgment and justice.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to draw and call your attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture as they bring us face to face with the fact that the religious system brought this woman guilty into the presence of Jesus and into the Temple, accused her of her guilt before Jesus and all those who were present, and even pronounced sentence and judgment against her according to the Law of Moses. The only thing the religious elite saw at this time was this woman’s guilt and the judgment which the Law had demanded against such a transgression she had committed. Not only this but the religious elite sought to have this woman prosecuted and penalized to the fullest extent of the law of Moses which would have resulted in her being stoned to death. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for religion demanded “justice” and “judgment” for and against this woman and did so according to what was written in the Law. We must needs recognize and understand that this woman was in fact guilty, this woman was guilty according to the Law of Moses, was guilty in the sight of God who gave the Law unto Moses, and who ultimately deserved death as the penalty for her sin. What’s more is religion sought to have this woman punished and receive exactly what they felt she deserved and what the Law provided and permitted.

 

            What we must needs realize and understand is that this woman was indeed guilty and she was guilty according to the Law of Moses. As a direct result of being guilty according to the Law of Moses the scribes and the Pharisees thought, felt and believed she should be judged to the fullest extent of the Law. A similar reality is manifested among us within our culture and society as well as within many of our churches and houses of worship in this nation. We have watched and witnessed as men and women have committed unspeakable atrocities and wrongdoings and whether we have been directly or indirectly impacted we have cried out and demanded justice and judgment. Much like the scribes and the Pharisees who not only demanded that such a woman be stoned but also declared that such an act was warranted and permitted by the Law we also cry out for judgment and justice as men and women are forced to face the just penalty for their wrongdoings, their crimes and their sins. The truth of the matter, however—especially in regards to this passage of Scripture—is that although this woman was indeed guilty and although the Law did in fact permit this woman to be stoned to death Jesus would not only deliver her from her accusers but would also choose not to condemn or judge this woman. The same Jesus who declared unto Nicodemus by night that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved and the same Jesus which showed up in Samaria and chose not to condemn a five-time divorcee who was presently with a man who was not her husband would be the same Jesus who would show up in Jerusalem and in the Temple and not only deliver this woman from those who would accuse her but also choose not to condemn her. Jesus was the only one who had the full right to judge and punish this woman and yet not only did He not pick up a stone and join in with the scribes and Pharisees but He also delivered this woman from her accusers.

 

            It is absolutely necessary that we pay attention to the “better word” that is found in and spoken by Jesus for when the Law declares us to be guilty and demands us to be judged and punished Jesus steps in and not only delivers us from our accusers but also chooses not to condemn us. Jesus didn’t condemn this woman of the act of adultery in which she had been caught and in addition to this we find Him instructing and commanding her to go and sin no more. Although Jesus would not condemn this woman and although Jesus would deliver this woman from her accusers He would command and instruct her to go and sin no more. We must pay attention to the words which Jesus spoke unto her for although He would not condemn her He did in fact acknowledge the fact that she had sinned. Jesus would deliver this woman from her accusers and from the accusations that were brought against her—even though they were true—and when it was just Jesus and this woman left alone He declared unto her that He did not condemn her. Even though He did not and would not condemn her He would still acknowledge the fact that she had sinned and command her to sin no more. This was the same reality that was found when Jesus found the man whom He had healed of the infirmity which he had for thirty-eight years as He not only declared that He was whole but also commanded him to go and sin no more lest something worse come upon him. Oh we must needs pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth that although Jesus delivered this woman from her accusers and although Jesus chose not to condemn this woman He would acknowledge the fact that she had sinned and commanded her to go and sin no more. It is with this in mind I would like to leave you with the words which are found in the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews concerning the better word which was indeed and was in fact spoken by and through the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

            “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: we have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith, he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by who much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrew 8:1-6).

 

            “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” (Hebrews 12:18-26).

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