1. In Luke 15:1 a special statement is made about the Lord -- publicans and sinners drew near to Him because they wanted to hear Him. 2. Not everyone was happy about this -- we learn from vs.2 that the Pharisees and scribes criticized Jesus because He associated with sinners. 3. It is easy to see why publicans and sinners did not approach the Pharisees and scribes. 4. Why did publicans and sinners want to hear Jesus? 5. One of the many reasons is that He gained their respect. 6. In our lesson we are studying an event from the Lord's ministry recorded in John 8 that illustrates why He had the respect of publicans and sinners.
I. WE READ ABOUT THIS EVENT IN JOHN 8:2-11
A. We need to keep in mind the setting in which these things occurred. 1. According to ch.7, Jesus had gone to Jerusalem to observe the feast of tabernacles. 2. (8:1) After the feast had concluded Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 3. (8:2) Early in the morning Jesus returned to the temple -- many people came to Jesus, and He taught them. B. (vs.3a) The scribes and Pharisees are mentioned. 1. These are the same people who criticized Jesus in Luke 15:2. 2. John showed that these people had been plotting against the Lord. a. (5:16, 18) The Jews were persecuting Jesus, and they wanted to kill Him. b. (7:1) For a time Jesus stayed away from Judea because the Jews wanted to kill Him. c. (7:30) An attempt was made to take Jesus. d. (7:32) The Pharisees and chief priests sent some officers to take Jesus. C. (ch.8) The scribes and Pharisees tried to ensnare Jesus by getting Him involved in a very difficult situation. 1. (vs.3) They brought a woman taken in adultery and placed her in the midst. 2. (vs.4) They told Jesus that she had been taken in the very act of adultery. 3. (vs.5a) They referred to the Law of Moses which taught that adulterers were to be put to death. 4. (vs.5b) They wanted to know what Jesus had to say about this situation. 5. (vs.6a) The motive of the scribes and Pharisees is revealed -- they were testing Jesus to find something they could use against Him. D. Before we look at the Lord's response, let us notice a few key passages. 1. One of the 10 commandments taught the Jews to abstain from adultery (Exodus 20:14 -- "Thou shalt not commit adultery"). 2. The punishment for adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10). 3. Certain guidelines were to be followed when capital punishment was administered (Deuteronomy 17:6-7). E. This is the predicament. 1. If Jesus said that the woman should be released, He could be charged with violating the Law of Moses. 2. If Jesus said that she should be stoned, He could be charged with violating Roman law. a. The Romans had control of Palestine at this time. b. The Romans did not allow the Jews to administer capital punishment. F. The Lord's response 1. (vs.6b) Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground as though He did not hear them. 2. (vs.7a) The Jews did not accept the Lord's silence -- they were persistent in asking Jesus about what should be done. 3. (vs.7b) Jesus arose and made His famous statement. 4. (vs.8) He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. G. (vs.9-10) The Jews who accused the woman left without condemning her, and she remained. H. (vs.11) Jesus informed her that He was not going to condemn her, but He went on to say, "go, and sin no more."
II. SOME PRINCIPLES TO CONSIDER
A. Jesus did not come to earth for the purpose of condemning (John 3:17). B. Rather, He came to save (Luke 19:10). C. We must not be deceived into thinking that Jesus condones sin. 1. He did not condemn the woman in John 8, but He did not condone her sin. 2. He told her: "go, and sin no more." D. Jesus came to call "sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13). E. Jesus will forgive those who come to Him on His terms (Romans 6:1-4).
1. (John 8:2) When the scribes and Pharisees brought this woman before Jesus, He was teaching people in the temple. 2. By responding to this situation as He did, do you suppose Jesus gained the respect of any publicans and sinners who were present? 3. He continues to invite everyone to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30). 4. Does Jesus have your respect?