The Story of Jesus The Woman Taken in Adultery (Lesson 82)
1. "Growing in the knowledge of Christ" deserves our careful attention (2 Peter 3:18). 2. To achieve this growth we must "search the Scriptures" (John 5:39). 3. In this lesson we are studying the occasion when Jesus was questioned about a woman taken in adultery.
I. LET US EXAMINE THE VERSES THAT RECORD THIS EVENT (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. (7:37) The final day of the feast is mentioned. 3. (8:1) After the feast had concluded Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 4. (8:2) Early in the morning Jesus returned to the temple, and He taught many people. B. (vs.3a) The scribes and Pharisees are mentioned. 1. John showed how these people were plotting against the Lord. a. (5:16) The Jews were persecuting Jesus, and they wanted to kill Him. b. (5:18) They were serious in their effort to kill Jesus. c. (7:1) For a time Jesus stayed away from Judea because the Jews wanted to kill Him. d. (7:30) An attempt was made to take Jesus. e. (7:32) The Pharisees and chief priests sent some officers to take Jesus. C. The scribes and Pharisees tried to ensnare Jesus by involving Him 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 informed Jesus that this woman had been taken in the very act of adultery. 3. (vs.5a) They referred to Moses' law 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). 2. The punishment for adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10). 3. Certain guidelines for capital punishment were given in Deuteronomy 17:6-7. E. This is the predicament that Jesus faced, according to the scribes and Pharisees. 1. If He said the woman should be released, He could be charged with violating Moses' law. 2. If He said she should be stoned, He could be charged with violating Roman law because 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.
II. LET US CONSIDER SEVERAL IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES
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).