Want life? Change…

John 8:1-11

 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up  and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,  “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

 How was this question intended to trap Jesus?  One, he was not a leader, therefore not qualified in their mind to pass judgment?  Also, based on recent statements he had made stating he brought life, and that belief in him brought life, was there was the possibility that he might take issue with what Moses had given them in the law?  Jesus does none of these.  He does not even deal with the issue they brought to him, the guilt of the woman and what to do about it.  He speaks directly to them personally.  He places the burden of proof of innocence upon them.  Could any of them throw a stone?  No, it would place the spotlight of hypocrisy on them before all the people. 

 Jesus used this incident to demonstrate the pardon from the sentence of sin he was bringing to the world.  There was no doubt of the guilt of the woman; “caught in the act” clearly placed the demand of sin for its sentence of death.  “The wages of sin is death…”  But with Jesus there is the possibility of pardon from that sentence.  When forgiveness is sought, it is granted with a belief in Jesus and the redemption price he paid for us all.  In this incident he forgave but…with forgiveness and pardon comes an expectation and requirement; “Go and sin no more.”  Another translation states “leave your life of sin.”  A life of freedom from sin’s demand of death carries with it a requirement of change.

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