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Confusing Grace, How Weird The Sound

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Letting Go Of The StonesJohn 8:1-11

Last week  - God’s grace – undeserved goodness.

Sting – God asks us to show

Les Miserable  - John Valjean.

Movie Clip:

John Valjean’s life changed. Received so gave.

My Problem: The times in my life when God wants me to show grace to others are the times when I find it hardest to do so.

Training ourselves to be gracious.

Story: John 8:1-11

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

Put Jesus in situation where he had to make one of two decisions – and make it so that either decision will destroy him.

  1. She should be killed – ruin reputation; put him offside with Roman authorities who outlawed executions.
  2. She should not be killed – you are disagreeing with what God said through Moses!

To make this plan work, they needed this woman.

  1. there is no question that she was guilty of this sin
  2. there is also no question that she was trapped and set up by these men.
    1. Pharisees and scribes ready at dawn to pounce.
    2. To make this accusation, they must have had witnesses. Old Testament law – death, but because so strict, very strong evidence. Two witnesses who actually saw it happening – very unusual.
    3. Public
    4. Where is the guilty man?

They used her failure.

I sometimes rejoice in the failure of other people – because it makes me look better.

  • At work, when co-workers fail
  • In relationships, when other people’s marriages are going through hard times … other people’s kids aren’t following the Lord
  • In ministries, when someone else’s ministry isn’t as successful …

Last Wednesday – MSC Napoli shipwrecked off Devon coast in England

Two containers spilled their contents into sea – washed up onshore.

People came from miles around.

Parents in middle of night left their children by the waves on the beach in the middle of a gale to loot some stuff.

Swedish lady – watched on TV her property being looted.


ATTITUDE 1 – I will not take advantage of other people’s failure.

Move on.

What is Jesus’ response?

Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.



  1. Doodling while controlled his anger.
  2. Writing list of their sins
  3. Writing a list of the times they were guilty of this sin.
  4. Writing a verse from OT forbidding involvement in evil schemes.

Don’t know!

7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

One by one … guys click – He’s escaped their cunning plan.

But what really saying – “Guys, you are just the same as this lady.”

Glue-sniffing guy

  1. Pitiable
  2. There but for the grace of God …

ATTITUDE 2  - I will admit that we are the same.

ATTITUDE 3 – I will choose to model my response to others’ failure on the grace of Jesus.

Said three things:

YES, you failed

NO, I don’t condemn you

YES, you can repent and start again.

Called this sermon: Letting go of the stones.

Response of the men to this failure was a stone.

Response of Jesus to this failure was grace.

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