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HG097-98 John 8:1-20

Harmony of the Gospels  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  22:12
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John 8:1–20 ESV
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Adultery 1-11

Jesus was back in the Temple courtyards teaching the people. This is still during the Feast of Tabernacles.
And whilst this was happening a woman was brought in by the Pharisees and Scribes who had been caught during the sexual act of adultery. They throw her down before Him and say: “Now, Jesus, what are you going to do about it? Moses says stone her. What say you?” This was a trap. I do feel for those who are politicians for the minefield that they have to go through and to be so super careful about what they say. Put your head above the parapet and you’ll have those who will laud you and others that will go ‘off with your head’.
This was a political trap. It is also a legal one.
For if He said; “stone her” then the ire of the Roman Empire would come down upon Him. But if He said: “Let her go” they would say He is a lawbreaker. And all the while they were pushing for an answer. But they could not push Him or corner Him. For, as they will soon discover, He is truly their judge. He stooped to write on the ground as if rehearsing the ten commandments written by the finger of God. Of course, it is speculation what He wrote for it was in dust and dirt that He wrote. Perhaps He was rehearsing each of their sins.
Meanwhile they were getting very insistent but when the true judge gives a verdict it is spiritually devastating for these Pharisees. “He who is without sin among you, let him throw be the first to stone her.” Suddenly what they have attempted to make a political and legal issue is seen as a deeply personal, moral matter. A group of proud, righteous men now find themselves on the same ground as the woman they are want to stone. Their holier-than-thou armour had been pierced as each one faced the depths of his own sinful nature. Each had to deal with the inner darkness which is so closely intertwined with self-righteous legalism; the savage delight in catching this woman in the act of sinning, the pompous pride in being able to use her as a shameful test case and the vengeful anger which drove them to get at Jesus. Are not these the ugly passions we all seek to hide? There is a royal dignity about Jesus as He quietly stoops to write again on the ground. He has no need to speak a further word. The truth has judged them. And now He seems oblivious to them as they leave.
How quick we delight in judging in others. But we are all in the same boat. Our hearts tell us that this really is so. Not one of us is without sin. Some sins are more ugly than others and may have greater consequences but before God and our own consciences we are very aware of our failings. The oldest left first and then down to the youngest. The oldest were aware that they were sinners but the youngest were too. All of life was full of sin.
Whilst the accusers had now all gone there were those that Jesus beforehand had been teaching. But Jesus and the woman are now only aware of each other. This is always the way Jesus deals with us. It is intensively personal. Nor do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. I am not saying that what you have done is not grievous but it is now time to stop behaving this way. It is time to leave sin in the past. It is what Jesus says about all our sin, all our evil habits. I see what you do and hear what you say even if there are no other witnesses.
Was
Thru the Bible Vol. 38: The Gospels (John 1–10) Jesus in Temple Forgives Woman Taken in Adultery (Sixth Word)

Jesus reversing the Mosaic system? No. He is placing His Cross between that woman and her sin. This One who is the Son of the virgin, who Himself was under a cloud all of His life, is going to the Cross to pay the penalty for even the sin of this woman. He did not come into the world to condemn the world. He did not come to judge this woman. He came into the world to be a Savior!

Now, my friends, I implore you, get rid of the sin that so easily entangles and corrupts for it has power to destroy all that you hold dear.

Light 12-20

During this Feast of Tabernacles the temple priests would set up four great torches or lamp stands with golden lamp holders that held 65 litres of oil and were as high as the temple walls. This is the other ceremony that takes place. Last week we looked at the water pouring ceremony and this time we are looking at was called the Illumination of the Temple. This would take place in the treasury. Then the young, fit priests would ascend the tall ladders with the oil and light the protruding wicks.
The lighting of this would normally take place at the beginning of the Festival and the whole temple and much of Jerusalem would be lit up with the great flames that came out of the lamp holders. In the Mishnah we read that:
Men of piety and good works used to dance before them with burning torches in their hands singing songs and praises and countless Levites played on harps, lyres, cymbals, and trumpets and instruments of music.
They would dance until dawn. It was an exotic festival celebrating the great pillar of fire that led the people of Israel during their sojourn in the wilderness. The beautiful lights lit up the night. Jerusalem was a breathtaking, illuminated city on a hill.
It was in this place, no doubt with the charred torches still in place, that Jesus chose to raise his voice above the crowd and proclaim, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” There would scarcely be a more dramatic way to announce one of the supreme realities of Jesus’ existence. What a way to focus people’s attention on one of the truths they needed to understand! His timing was not haphazard on either occasion; with the water, let him come to Me and drink, and with the torches of fire, I AM the light of the world.
Those great torches symbolized the Shekinah glory. Christ was saying in effect, “Do you remember the pillar that came between you and the Egyptians near the Red Sea, the pillar that protected you and led you on your wanderings in the wilderness? I am the Light of the world. I am identified with that Shekinah glory.” What a statement! At the very least Jesus was claiming to be God.
This is the second of the I AM sayings. The people cannot mistake what He is saying. He is identifying Himself as God, the Great I AM.
Thru the Bible Vol. 38: The Gospels (John 1–10) Jesus is the Light of the World (Sixth Word)

Jesus gives us a revelation of God when He tells us that He is Bread, He is Water, He is Life. Then we understand that not only is God self–existing, but that He also meets our every need. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the door” (John 10:9), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25), “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and “I am the vine, ye are the branches” (John 15:5).

It is in Him that we find everything we need.
The light shining in our lives is Christ’s light. What a privilege! Ephesians 5:8 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” We share the very light that Jesus Christ displayed. We are “the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). Paul told the Philippian Christians that the world is dark, “in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15). We “have the light of life.” In Matthew 13:43 Jesus says, “The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
In his book, The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis says:
Nature is mortal. We shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol, but it is a symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass through nature beyond her to the splendour which she fitfully reflects.
And so it says in:
Revelation 22:5 NKJV
5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
But note the hardheartedness of the Pharisees. There are two sides to this. Those who receive Jesus love Him, follow Him, trust Him therefore receive the Light of the World and then those who reject Him and therefore receive darkness instead. The pillar of fire by night was a pillar of cloud in the day. It brought light to the Israelites but when Pharaoh came out with an army against them we read in:
Exodus 14:19–20 NKJV
19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.
We can see this in the lives of particular people:
Hugh Hefner was raised in a minister’s home. Joseph Stalin studied for the priesthood. Mao Tse-tung was raised under missionary teaching. The very light of Christ can become darkness.
Darkness or light. The choice is ours. If we have accepted Jesus then we have light and we also become light.
How do we continue to walk in the light? Simply by looking upward and walking continually with him. We want the light of life. We do not want to stumble as we walk through life. We want the light flowing out of us to others. We want to participate in the final glory that awaits us, whatever it may be. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
On the last day of the feast a prayer would be recited by the Jews:
"Be thou praised, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who makes light and causes darkness, who makes peace and creates all: the light of the world as the treasure of life…"
Jesus IS the light of the world. God is Light, He loves light, He creates light, He sheds light, He desires light. Lamps with oil produce light, both for those who carry them and for those who see the light bearers. "You are the light of the world", He said. So the Lord also expects light from His people. The light of God in our lives comes from His Holy Spirit, and oil has always been associated with the Spirit's ministry in the lives of believers. Burning oil produces light. We ought to bear His light in this dark world.
The wise among us will "buy oil" and maintain our lamps thoroughly filled. To "buy oil" means to spend time with the One who supplies it, asking Him to fill us up, and to clean out the impurities in our "lamps". The lamps on the candle sticks would need to be filled - the flames could last for a very long time but eventually, without oil being added, the flame will go out.
Jesus’ declaration to be the Light of the Word was evidenced in His revealing the hearts of the Pharisees that not one is without sin. The Word of Truth penetrated them so much that they could no longer condemn the woman caught in adultery. How quick we are to judge! For the light of Jesus reveals our own wretchedness and our need to hear the comforting words: Neither do I condemn you. Let us continue to walk in the light, maintaining our relationship with The Light so our own light does not diminish.

Benediction

Jude 24–25 NKJV
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

Bibliography

Fredrikson, R. L., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1985). John (Vol. 27). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.
Hughes, R. K. (1999). John: that you may believe. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 08:42 30 September 2018.
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