7 53-8 11 Never Too Old For God's School
liberty bible church 8/24/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“Never too old for god’s school”
Illus. of A biology class student conducted an experiment on what would happen to a grasshopper if its legs were taken off. He pulled off one of its legs and yelled 'hop!', and the grasshopper hopped. Then he took another leg and yelled 'hop!' and the grasshopper hopped. Then he took all of its legs and yelled 'hop!' but the insect did not hop. He yelled again, but the insect did not hop. So he came to the conclusion that when all the legs of a grasshopper are removed, it will become deaf. Obviously, this budding scientist came to the wrong conclusion. Many times we come to the wrong conclusions about God and His Word. We worship an infinite God of whom we learn for our entire lives. On this earth, we can never hope to fully comprehend His majesty, knowledge, and power. That’s why we are always learning. We are never too old for God’s school. This week it was back to school for most of our young people. That’s our theme today; back to God’s school. What does He have for us this morning?
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see Jesus teach a lesson to those that didn’t think they needed to learn.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. Before we start, it must be said that there are many questions that surround this passage. Does this passage belong in Scripture? Did John right it? Is it historical? Most Biblical scholars do not believe that this passage was part of the original text. It is not part of most Greek manuscripts and was probably not written by John. However, most commentators do believe it is historical. It could be one of those events that John mentions that Jesus did that was not included in the Biblical Canon. With all these questions’ answers being questioned as well, it is best to learn from it what we can and apply what we learn from Christ, since it is consistent with the rest of God’s Word. With that said, in relation to never being too old for God’s school, we first see…
i. whose teaching whom? vs. 53-6a
Illus. of Kathryn's 5-year-old developed a strong interest in spelling once she learned to spell STOP. After that, she tried to figure out her own words. From the back seat of the car she'd ask, "Mom, what does fgrpl spell?" "Nothing," Kathryn said. Sitting at breakfast she'd suddenly ask, "Mom, what does doeb spell?" "Nothing," Kathryn answered. This went on for several weeks. Then one afternoon as they sat coloring in her room she asked, "Mom, what does lmdz spell?" Kathryn smiled at her and said, "Nothing, sweetheart." The 5-year-old carefully set down her crayon, sighed and said, "Boy, there sure are a lot of ways to spell 'Nothing'!" Just as the mom learned something here, the religious leaders are about to get a lesson from who they thought was a regular guy, Jesus.
a. Preparation for the test
V 53 1. This story continues some other material, probably what we have not been looking at with Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles.
V 1 2. Often Jesus spent the night at the Mt. of Olives. He could find some rest, some peace, some private time with the disciples, and some time with His Heavenly Father. But early in the morning, He was ready to go again.
V 2 3. The people came early to sit as His feet and He taught them. He was the teacher, but He was about to be tested.
b. This test isn’t fair
V 3a 1. The Scribes were teachers of the Law and believed in it being kept in a very strict way. The Pharisees were religious leaders who in general were legalistic as well. The Law said that there had to be two witnesses to convict someone of a crime that was punishable by death. This was very unusual and may have been planned to specifically test Jesus. Interestingly enough, the man was not brought.
V 3b- 2. The whole point here was to test Jesus in the hopes of discrediting Him before the people. If He condemned her, He may have lost favor with the common man. If He didn’t, He would have been disagreeing with the Law. This test was very difficult and for the average person, would have been unfair. But Jesus was no ordinary man. He would become the Teacher of the teachers.
Trans. WHOSE TEACHING WHOM reveals an unfair test of our Savior, but He’s up for the task. Next we see…
ii. whose learning now? vs. 6b-11
Illus. of on the first day of school, the kindergarten teacher said, "If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers." A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?" Any teacher will tell you that they learn a lot from their students. The religious leaders learn a lesson here they should have already known.
a. not the right answer
V 6b 1. Many have tried to guess what Jesus wrote. Some say He wrote the sins of the accusers. Perhaps He wrote Ex. 23:1. Some say He just rubbed His finger in the dirt while He prepared as answer. We don’t know.
V 7 2. Only one who is sinless can judge in this manner. Jesus was not condemning the Law, rather He pointing out that they were just as guilty as this woman. There is only One who is sinless and able to make this type of judgment.
V 8 3. Then He wrote on the ground again.
b. the lesson learned
V 9a 1. The Word of God convicted their hearts. Perhaps the older ones were quicker to admit their sin because they had the wisdom to recognize it in their lives. Eventually, all the accusers left.
V 9b 2. With no accusers left, the case was dropped.
V 10 3. Now Jesus dealt with the sin of the woman in God’s gracious way. He didn’t excuse it, but He offered grace and forgiveness if she would receive it.
V 11 4. Even though her sin was rebuked, He gave her hope of a new life. But, she needed to repent and turn from her sin, not justify it. Evidently she did, because Jesus forgave her, which He could do because of His sinlessness.
God’s school turns the world’s way of thinking upside down. WHOSE TEACHING WHOM and WHOSE LEARNING NOW reveal that man’s ways and wisdom are not always God’s. So what is God’s wisdom and how do we apply it?
1. Proverbs tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This begins with the GOSPEL.
2. Like the woman, when we repent, our goal is to sin no more.
3. Be humble enough to learn from God each day. In this life, we will never know it all.
Illus. of 100 college presidents want to lower the drinking age to 18 to cut down on binge drinking on college campuses. They tried this in my generation. It didn’t work. This is man’s wisdom. They mean well but are mislead by the enemy.
God’s school is the only place where we can fully trust the lessons to be accurate. We can be taught every moment of every day if we are sensitive to His instruction. If we listen and apply our lessons, we will mature beyond any degree this life can offer. No matter what your age, sit at the feet of Jesus and learn. The education will serve you well in this life and in the one to come.
“Never too old for god’s school”
Many times we come to the wrong conclusions about God and His Word. That’s why we are always learning.
i. whose whom? vs. 53-6a
a. ______________________________ for the test
b. This test isn’t _________________________
ii. whose now? vs. 6b-11
a. __________________ the right answer
Cf. Ex. 23:1
b. the lesson ___________________________
So what is God’s wisdom and how do we apply it?