John 8:2-12, Jeremiah 17:13-14, Psalm 90:8
Keith Fordham, evangelist
The finger God used to write the Ten Commandments on the stone tablets is the finger that wrote on the ground in John 8. When the Law was given, Moses came down off the mountain, saw the people worshipping the golden calf, broke the tablets, had the calf ground to powder, and made the people drink it. There were 3,000 that did not get the message. The Levites killed every one of them.
God wrote with his finger a second time. On Pentecost God gave the Spirit and 3,000 were saved. The Law brought death. The Spirit gives life.
The reason Jesus came to earth was “to seek and save the lost.” The first coming of Christ was not to reject, condemn, or even to pass sentence on the world (John 3:17). It was rather to save all mankind. This truth is clearly demonstrated in today’s lesson.
Jer. 17:13-14: O Lord … all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters”. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved …
In John 7:37-38, Jesus declared Himself to be the “Fountain of Living Waters” prophesied by Jeremiah. Furthermore, the writing on the ground, the shame of those forsaking Christ, and the saving of one who came to Christ were fulfilled in John 8:2-12. Psalm 90:8 was fulfilled as these men came under conviction of the “Light of the World.”
It is early morning at the Temple complex. Jesus is teaching with such power and truth that many people knew He was a prophet and the Christ. The chief priests and Pharisees had sent officers to arrest Jesus, but they failed the day before. Instead of seeking God early the next morning, they tried to entangle Christ in a dilemma to discredit Him.
The woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus to be judged. He was told the law stated she should be stoned. Jesus claimed that he could keep the Law and save the sinner. They did not see how this could be done. Roman law said only Romans could carry out capital punishment. If Jesus said stone her, He would be put to death.
God’s Law stated that both individuals caught in adultery were to be stoned (Deut. 22:22 & Lev. 20:10). Where was the man involved? The Lord gave the Mosaic Law to safeguard the sanctity of sex, and marriage, for the moral purity of the nation.
If Jesus set her free he would have broken the Law of God. What irony? Jesus is God. The scribes and Pharisees did not realize that one greater than Solomon was there. They wanted to stone Christ, the only Savior. They thought they had Christ cornered. In fact the word tempt (Peirazo) is the same word for tempt that describe how Satan tempted Christ. Tempt carries the idea of making a person evil or unapproved. Satan is come to destroy and to kill. These hypocrites were doing the same thing as their Father the Devil.
Instead of answering His accusers, Jesus stoops down and begins to write on the ground. What did He write: 1. the 7th commandment (Ex. 20:14), 2: a list of the men who had committed the same sin, 3. Judge not that you be not judged? We do not know what He wrote.
But we know Jesus answered their evil, persistent questioning with convicting and eternal truth. He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7; Dt. 7:17). Witnesses had to be free of the crime before casting the first stone, lest they suffer the same fate. They were guilty (Matt. 5:28). The word Jesus used for sin carries the idea of falling short God’s standard morally and desiring to commit this sin.”
Repentance is the attitudinal adjustment that aligns us with the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Repentance is not a work, nor is it an action. Repentance is a change of direction; it is realignment with the Word of God.
Jesus writes on the earth again. From the oldest to the youngest they began to leave. When King David was convicted of adultery with Bathsheba (as well as the murder of Uriah) by the message of the prophet Nathan, David said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Instead of turning to Christ and confessing their sin, these men forsake the Lord.
If you are under conviction about sin in your life, get right with Jesus now. If you are lost, repent of your sin and receive Christ. If you are saved, use “God’s bar of soap, 1 John 1:9” and get clean. Do it now for we are not promised tomorrow (2 Cor. 6:2: James 4:14-15).
What did Jesus say to the woman? “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
Repentance is the attitudinal adjustment that aligns us with the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Repentance is not a work, nor is it an action. Repentance is a change of direction; it is realignment with the Word of God. Repentance is not right action, but will always lead to right action.
By referring to Jesus as Lord, she was turning to Christ for Salvation (1 Cor. 12:3; Rom. 8:1; 10:9-13; Jer. 31:34). Jesus showed her respect, relieved her of her accusers, redeemed her, and kept her from a relapse. The Cross and Pentecost make this fully possible. The temporary covering of the blood on the Mercy Seat would soon be replaced with the precious blood of Christ.
Christ condemned the sin, but loved and saved the sinner. As witnesses for Christ, we must do the same.
Even pardoned sin leaves stripes and scars in our soul and spirit. These marks and stripes on the human soul can only be healed by the Lord Jesus Christ. …By His stripes we are healed! (Is.53:5)