John 8 reveals Jesus as our source of salvation, light, life, truth, and freedom.
I. Jesus is the source of salvation~John 8:1-11
II. Jesus is the source of light and life~John 8:12-30
III. Jesus is the source of truth and freedom~John 8:31-59
If you open your Bible to John 8:1, there you find Jesus on the Mount of Olives across from the Kidron Valley to the east of Jerusalem. This valley was about 1.8 miles long and was found to be normally a dry streambed that flowed only in the winter months. It then converged with the Hinnon Valley south of the city.
The mountain was apparently named for the olive groves that were found on it. There was a wine press there, hence the name Gethsemane (the place of the wine press). This was the same place where Judas later betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
Yet for now, it appears that Jesus rose early as was His habit and entered into the temple courts. The people began to gather around Him wanting to hear what Jesus had to say. So He sat down and began teaching His captive audience. It was then that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery and questioned Jesus about how to handle the situation.
Now, they weren’t really looking for a solution. They knew the law and how to handle the situation. What they were looking for was a way to trap Him, defame His name, and stop His teachings, while they plotted to murder Jesus. Their plan was to try and use the very Law God had given to trap Jesus. Again, this was in order to dishonor Him in front of His followers.
But it’s obvious that they had no idea who they were dealing with.
The giver and upholder of the Law Himself! The Lord God Almighty!
You see, the Law of Moses commanded that anyone caught in adultery be stoned to death. Yet, here the teachers of the law and the Pharisees not only failed to uphold the law, they also failed to bring forth the man, who they probably bribed or coerced into helping them. Therefore they brought forth the woman and not the man.
They were really not concerned with the broken law as much as they were concerned with trying trap Jesus and discredit His name so they could do away with Him. So they tried to place Jesus in a catch-22 and they believed they had Him.
You see, if Jesus said that the woman should be stoned to death, Jesus would lose His reputation of being merciful. This would have a direct effect on His relationship with the very people He was trying to save.
Secondly, if He called for the woman’s death, He would become a criminal in the eyes of the Roman government. It forbid any Jew from exercising the death penalty (except in the case of a Gentile trespassing in the Temple).
Thirdly, if Jesus said this woman should be pardoned, the religious leaders would accuse Him of breaking the law of Moses by permitting a sin that dishonored God.
But instead of answering their question, Jesus simply bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger.
And though these religious leaders continued to demand an answer from Jesus, He simply stood up and said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And again, Jesus stooped down and continued to write on the ground.
Now we aren’t told what He wrote. We can only use our sanctified imaginations. Could it be that Jesus wrote with His finger like God the Father wrote with His for Moses and the people? God inscribed the Ten Commandments, which the religious leaders were supposed to be the teachers and keepers of. They were supposed to be setting a godly example!
Or could it be that Jesus began listing the sins of each man present?
We really don’t know. But either way, verse 9 tells us that those who heard Jesus’ words began to go away. And it was the oldest in the crowd who turned away first. Could it be because they were either more aware of their sin or had incurred more sin over the course of time? We aren’t told the reason, but they were the first to go and then one by one everyone left.
All except Jesus and the woman standing there in front of Him. Those who came to shame another, left in shame themselves.
My friends, we too must be careful not to only recognize the sins of others without doing a self-examination. This does not mean we ignore the sin of others, but rather that we recognize we too are sinners and in need of forgiveness.
Therefore, may we be quick to forgive and restore rather than quick to judge and condemn.