Confusing Grace, How Weird The Sound
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.
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.
- She should be killed – ruin reputation; put him offside with Roman authorities who outlawed executions.
- She should not be killed – you are disagreeing with what God said through Moses!
To make this plan work, they needed this woman.
- there is no question that she was guilty of this sin
- there is also no question that she was trapped and set up by these men.
- Pharisees and scribes ready at dawn to pounce.
- 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.
- 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.
What is Jesus’ response?
Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
- Doodling while controlled his anger.
- Writing list of their sins
- Writing a list of the times they were guilty of this sin.
- Writing a verse from OT forbidding involvement in evil schemes.
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.”
- 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.