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John 8 : 1 - 11  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:15
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Today, as we continue making our way through the Gospel of John, we come now to chapter 8...
And we come to a story that is very familiar within Christianity...
So let’s go ahead and read through the text...
John 8:1–11 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.”
I’m sure most of you - if not ALL of you - have heard of this story before...
But what most of you may NOT have heard of before is that most NT scholars today - do not believe that this story was part of the original writing of John...
Instead they believe it was added in - centuries later...
Don Carson, who teaches at Trinity, and is in my view one of the best New Testament scholars in the world, writes, “Despite the best efforts . . . to prove that this narrative was originally part of John’s Gospel, the evidence is against [them], and modern English versions are right to rule it off from the rest of the text (NIV) or to relegate it to a footnote (RSV).” (The Gospel According to John, 333)
Bruce Metzger, one of the world’s great authorities on the text of the New Testament until his death in 2007: “The evidence for the non-Johannine origin of this paragraph of the adulteress is overwhelming.” (A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 219)
Leon Morris: “The textual evidence makes it impossible to hold that this section is an authentic part of the Gospel.” (The Gospel According to John, 882)
Andreas Köstenberger: “This represents overwhelming evidence that the section is non-Johannine.” (John, 246)
And Herman Ridderbos: The evidences “point to an unstable tradition that was not originally part of an ecclesiastically accepted text.” (The Gospel of John, 286)
All of these men, and many more agree that this story in the Bible was not original to John...
And instead was added centuries after John....
And so what would render this text NOT being authentic to John…?
Here are some of the reasons why they think it’s not authentic to John himself...
1. The story is missing from all the Greek manuscripts of John before the fifth century.
2. All the earliest church fathers omit this passage in commenting on John and pass directly from John 7:52 to John 8:12.
3. In fact, the text flows very nicely from 7:52 to 8:12 if you leave out the story and just read the passage as though the story were not there.
4. No Eastern church father cites the passage before the tenth century when dealing with this Gospel.
5. When the story starts to appear in manuscript copies of the Gospel of John, it shows up in three different places other than here (after John 7:36; 7:44; 21:25), and in one manuscript of Luke, it shows up after 21:38.
6. Its style and vocabulary is more unlike the rest of John’s Gospel than any other paragraph in the Gospel.
So - with all of this said…why is it even IN HERE?
It’s in here because it DOES show up in later manuscripts...
BUT - if we KNOW or have a VERY GOOD inclination that a particular passage wasn’t ORIGINAL to a biblical author...
We definitely don’t want to BASE our theology on that passage.
And so if you’re thinking right now - WHY PREACH on this...
My answer is - What we preach on today - the TRUTH that we preach on today…will NOT FIND IT’S BASIS solely in this passage.
The TRUTH we look at today - will be BASED in the REST of SCRIPTURE...
And THIS PASSAGE will simply POINT to what we’ll look at today...
The message of this story - AGREES with the rest of Scripture!
This story was PRESERVED throughout the centuries because the early church LOVED this story.
What did they love about it?
They loved the message of it...
And we’ll see what that message is.
SO - let’s get to it...
In this story, Christ is back in the Temple teaching the people...
And while He’s teaching - it says...
John 8:3–4 ESV
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.
Now, just a side note about the language used here - the Author uses the word “SCRIBES”...
“the scribes and the Pharisees brought the woman in”
Nowhere else in this gospel do we find this word “Scribes”…used
John always used the phrasing - “Jews…or Chief Priests and Pharisees”
(just another indication that this story doesn’t belong here)
So the Pharisees bring this woman before Jesus and declare that she was caught in the act of adultery...
And then they say...
John 8:5 ESV
5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
So first - let’s go to the law to see what it says...
Deuteronomy 22:22 ESV
22 “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
Leviticus 20:10 ESV
10 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
So here’s the Law...
This is what the Pharisees were pointing to…and saying - SEE Jesus - she should be put to death!
But Jesus knows what they’re trying to do!
We can read this verse here and see what?
Who is supposed to be put to death in this scenario?
The woman....AND.....the man!
Where’s the man?
They said they what - CAUGHT her in the act?
MEANING - the man was there!
They KNOW who it is!
Are these Pharisees really concerned about JUSTICE?
NO - they’re not!
next verse...
John 8:6 ESV
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.
These guys are concerned about the LAW - they HATE Jesus!
**I think we see this sort of thing a lot today - with social media.
(we see people all the time complaining about this or that on social media)
(BUT THEN - when you let them know that there are opportunities for them to help out - to get involved - to invest - they say - OH NO…i’m not gonna do that!)
Same thing here - these guys are not concerned with the LAW...
They HATE Jesus - and they want to BRING A CHARGE against Him...
But Jesus knows!
He knows these men HATE Him…and have REJECTED Him...
SIDE NOTE:
Now, if this story truly happened, which most NT scholars agree is the case...
...then - there's an interesting connection with what Jesus did here in this story...
...with an OT prophecy found in Jeremiah.
I think everyone who reads this story, always walks away from it - WONDERING WHAT in the world Jesus wrote in the dust of the earth (read end of verse)
What we need to remember is what the context of this passage is...
Last week we just walked out of Christ TEACHING in the temple......on the last day of the FEAST...
And if you remember, on the last day of the Feast, there was a GRAND ceremony where the priest would pour out WATER that had been gathered from the pool of Siloam...
And pour it out on the altar...Celebrating God for providing for their fathers in the wilderness...For providing RAIN for them throughout that year...And to PRAY for MORE!
And DURING this grand ceremony, Jesus stood up and said:
John 7:37–38 ESV
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
Jesus stands up and DECLARES to all the men of Israel...
...that He Himself is the fulfillment of the WATER ritual..
...they had just witnessed!
That He...the FOUNTAIN of LIVING WATER - would give them LIVING WATER...
Did they ACCEPT Him as the Fountain of Living Water?
NO - and here's where the connection comes in with this scene regarding the woman caught adultery...
Listen to what Jeremiah 17:13 says...
Jeremiah 17:13 ESV
13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.
These men - who brought this woman out before Jesus......
seeking to TRAP Jesus...Those who had FORSAKEN Jesus Himself as the FOUNTAIN of Living Water...
See Jesus kneel down, and write in the dust of the earth...
Could He have been writing their names in the earth?
Certainly...And to think - no wonder they ran away...
But what did Jesus do in this story...How did He respond to the question of the Pharisees...?
John 8:6–9 ESV
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.
What we see Christ do here is... SLIDE:  Jesus Christ:  Reveals Himself as Judge

Jesus Christ

these men were trying to USE the law to carry out judgment...And the LAW afforded them that opportunity did it NOT??
It did...It said - if 2 people were caught in adultery, both were to be killed...See how VALUABLE God views marriage?
We hear this and might think - WOW that's harsh!
It's because we don't understand the VALUE/WORTH that God puts on marriage.
That's what the law said...
Kill them...So these men who are now before Jesus - with this adulterous woman - Their MOTIVE is WRONG
...but according to the law (the WRITTEN LETTER OF THE LAW) - SHOULD SHE HAVE BEEN KILLED?
Yes.
So what is Jesus doing here?
He REVEALS that yes - the LAW judges us - but that He is JUDGE!
What do we know about the Law of God?
Romans 3:20 ESV
20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
And now listen to how the LAW here is the INSURMOUNTABLE mountain to UNBELIEVERS…(explain as you read)
Romans 7:7–11 ESV
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
Repeatedly we hear that the LAW CONFIRMS my death...
It’s the INSURMOUNTABLE Mountain to the UNBELIEVER!
In a sense - the LAW is the death certificate of the unbeliever!
WHY you ask?
You might say - What’s so hard about NOT KILLING someone?
What’s so hard about not jumping into bed with another person?
Remember what Jesus did at the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5?
Jesus DEFINES for us what MURDER is - *to hate
Jesus DEFINES what adultery is - *to lust
You see how JESUS pushed the LAW INWARD....it was never this OUTWARD, Obstacle course to try and climb thru...
Jesus shows us that it’s ALWAYS been INWARD focused...
that HATRED is murder
LUST is adultery…!
And so it makes sense then when we read this a couple verses down from [here]
Romans 7:14 ESV
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
The LAW is spiritual!!
NO WONDER the unbeliever can’t live up to the LAW...
The law is SPIRITUAL - and it ALWAYS has been!
Think about it - The Bible tells us that we’re born in INIQUITY…in SIN...
Well, day 1, we deserve DEATH! - we’re GUILTY!
So according to the LAW - we deserve death day 1!
THAT’S WHAT THE LAW DOES!!
It REVEALS SIN!!!
WE ALL DESERVE DEATH!!
BUT - we also know this about CHRIST...
Romans 9:15–16 ESV
15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
See the Pharisees who brought the woman before Christ...
They were living by the WRITTEN CODE!
MERCY wasn’t in their EQUATION!
.....And - why - did - Jesus come to earth…?
Luke 19:10 ESV
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
1 Timothy 1:15 ESV
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
Think through it - If the LAW is the death certificate to the UNBELIEVER...
And if Jesus came to SAVE SINNERS...
What does that mean Jesus must EXTEND to us??!!
MERCY
Romans 8:3 ESV
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
Hosea 6:6 ESV
6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
that’s OT - how about NT
Matthew 9:13 ESV
13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The PHARISEES were trying to use the LAW as their GAVEL!!
Elevating themselves ABOVE the LAW!
THAT’S what they were trying to do!
They thought - the LAW doesn’t APPLY to us!
WE will render JUDGMENT!!
And Jesus says - NO - I am the Judge!
And this coincides with the rest of Scripture...
Acts 10:42 ESV
42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
John 5:22 ESV
22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
John 5:27 ESV
27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
Jesus Christ is JUDGE…YET...
...Jesus has MERCY on whom He has MERCY..
He MERCIES whom He MERCIES...
And on this day - He MERCIES this woman.
She DESERVED death!
BUT JESUS!
Listen - Unbeliever - the LAW of God renders you GUILTY!
Will you SUBMIT to Jesus Christ?
He is your ONLY Hope!!
Jesus REVEALS Himself - as THE JUDGE…puts these guys in their place...
John 8:7–8 ESV
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.
They didn’t understand that the SAME LAW that they were WIELDING about…crushed them as well!
And so Jesus puts them in their place as well...
BUT HOW DO THEY RESPOND?
John 8:9 ESV
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.
Did they RUN to Jesus in their GUILT??
No - and so - their GUILT remained with them!
QUESTION - Have you RESPONDED the same way to Jesus Christ?
Do you know you’re a SINNER - yet - you run FROM Him?
If so - your GUILT remains on you…and so does God’s wrath
BUT - if you HAVE run to Jesus!
If you - KNOWING yourself to be a sinner...
have RUN TO Jesus...
He has something to say to you still...
John 8:10–11 ESV
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.”
Notice how she addresses Jesus.
Jesus asks - has anyone condemned you?
She said - NO ONE - LORD.
And then Jesus says this..
“Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more”
See we might think - OK - since Jesus MERCIES us - He must not CARE how we live...
…or what we do...
…or what we think...
But no - here we see - He says - go and SIN no more!
SLIDE: Jesus Christ: Obedience On a Foundation of Grace

Jesus Christ

This is HUGE for us as Christians!!
Jesus Christ here PLACES - Obedience on a foundation of Grace!
He said what?
John 8:11 ESV
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
He DOES care how we live...
He DOES care what we think about...
He DOES care how we speak...
What we watch...
What we delight in...
What we pursue...
AND BECAUSE He does - He says - GO AND SIN NO MORE!
See - to the Christian - Jesus says - GO and SIN NO MORE!
BUT NOT BEFORE - don’t miss this...
Yes - He says - Christian - Go and Sin NO MORE...
But NOT before - He says - Neither do I condemn you!
Make no mistake…the LAW of God - which is written on our hearts - brings with it blessing and curse
What did Jesus say to the blind man that He healed?
John 5:14 ESV
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”
So yes - Lack of Obedience can bring curses upon us...
But we must KNOW THIS - Obedience to Jesus Christ can ONLY HAPPEN - if we have FIRST heard from Him...
Neither do I condemn you
See ONLY the one who TRUSTS in Christ -
ONLY the one who’s SINS are FORGIVEN can OBEY Christ...
WHY?
Because they’ve experienced the - Neither do I condemn you - of Jesus Christ!
It is the sweetest phrase you will ever hear in this life...
Jesus Christ Himself - saying to you- Neither do I condemn you!
HAVE YOU heard these words?
Have you SURRENDERED yourself to Christ?
Laid down your attempts to get to God through your works? It CAN’T happen!
SUMMARY
Jesus Christ:
Reveals Himself As The Judge
Puts Obedience on a Foundation of Grace
Have a Great Week
Let’s Pray...
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