What Jesus Did! 'Destroying People to Settle Arguments' — John 8:3-6

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman there. The woman had been caught doing the sin of adultery. These Jews forced the woman to stand before the people. They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught having sex with a man that is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we kill with rocks every woman that does this. What do you say we should do?" The Jews were using this question to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. Then they could have a charge against him. But Jesus kneeled down and started writing on the ground with his finger.
— John 8:3-6
Illustration of John 8:3-6 — "Teacher, this woman was caught having sex with a man that is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we kill with rocks every woman that does this. What do you say we should do?"

Key Thought

It was, of course, a trap set for Jesus. A religious question intended to take the compassion of Jesus and use it to crush him against the Law of Moses. It's funny how we can get so ramped up about our religious discussions that we lose sight of the heart of God. God is a God of holiness and integrity, righteousness and steadfast love. The two pairs go together. They are inseparable. Those who call upon his name as their God must pursue his character with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. The religious leaders here remind us how easily we shift from being righteous students of the Law into being vicious brutes pursuing self-justification. Lost in the argument and the pursuit of Jesus was the personhood of the unnamed woman. She is no more than a token to those who took her to Jesus, the bit of cheese on their religious mousetrap. However, even in the midst of those who hate him and would trap him, Jesus finds a way to deflect their venom from the woman and restore her dignity. People matter to God. Do they matter to us?

Today's Prayer

O LORD, God of Israel and Father of my Lord Jesus, please forgive me. I fear that I have not treated some as you would have had me treat them because they didn't fit into my religious comfortability. Give me a more compassionate heart and a greater skill to better say and do the redemptive thing in the lives of those who need your grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

All the Jewish leaders left and went home. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning Jesus went back to the temple area. All the people came to Jesus. Jesus sat and taught the people. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman there. The woman had been caught doing the sin of adultery. These Jews forced the woman to stand before the people. They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught having sex with a man that is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we kill with rocks every woman that does this. What do you say we should do?" The Jews were using this question to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. Then they could have a charge against him. But Jesus kneeled down and started writing on the ground with his finger. The Jewish leaders continued to ask Jesus their question. So Jesus stood up and said, "Is there any person here that has never sinned? That person without sin can throw the first rock at this woman." Then Jesus knelt down again and wrote on the ground. The people that heard Jesus began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman. She was standing before him. Jesus looked up again and asked her, "Woman, all of those people are gone. None of them judged you guilty?" The woman answered, "None of them judged me, sir." Then Jesus said, "So I also don't judge you. You can go now, but don't sin again."

John 7:53-8:11

Related Scripture Readings

While Jesus was walking, he saw a blind man. This man had been blind since the time he was born. Jesus' followers asked him, "Teacher, this man was born blind. But whose sin made him be born blind? His own sin, or his parents' sin?" Jesus answered, "It is not this man's sin or his parents' sin that made him be blind. This man was born blind so that God could use him to show what great things God can do.

John 9:1-3

This is the Lord's message: "Now come back to me with all your heart, {You did bad things,} cry, cry and don't eat any food! Tear your hearts, not your clothes." Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and merciful. He does not become angry quickly. He has great love. Maybe he will change his mind about the bad {punishment he planned}.

Joel 2:12-13

Christ died for us while we were still weak people. We were living against God, but at the right time, Christ died for us. Very few people will die to save the life of another person, even if that other person is a good person. If the person is a very good person, then someone might be willing to die for that person. But Christ died for us while we were still sinners. In that way God showed us that he loves us very much. We have been made right with God by Christ's blood (death). So through Christ we will surely be saved from God's anger. I mean that while we were God's enemies, God made friends with us through the death of his Son. So surely, now that we are God's friends, God will save us through his Son's life. And not only will we be saved, but we are also very happy now. We are happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus that we are now God's friends.

Romans 5:6-11

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.