Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.
Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
As in the last chapter, Jesus has plenty of words for the pharisees and the truth of who He is, yet they still need to ask, “Who art thou?”
The ways of Jesus was so foreign to them, basing their lives and livelihood on the Law, and being legalistic when it came to judging everyone but themselves, they didn’t have a clue what to make of Him. How many times had they tried to trip Jesus up, only to have themselves tripped, and then made to look like the blind fools they were?
Notice that when they bring the woman before Him, they say she was taken ” in the very act.” This leads one to wonder if a) the authorities were watching the adulterous couple in the act, or b) whether she was set up, and one of the accusers was the man she was with. If it was a) then shame and humiliation should have been heaped on them for watching, but also for not stopping it before it started. I tend to think the answer is b) but that’s just my own opinion on it. But still leads me to wonder why the guy wasn’t accused and brought before the judges too? The Law was clear that both parties were to be judged and stoned if guilty. So where is the guy?
I know I’m not the only one who wonders what Jesus wrote on the ground, but obviously like those who decided to meddle into someone’s private act (even though it was wrong, it was done in private) it’s not meant for us to know either the details, only Jesus’s answer. And what an answer- we know the people weren’t expecting. Who is without sin? Even the pharisees knew they weren’t exempt from sin, and that all have sinned. So what to do, when you’re holding a stone ready for judgement, yet be the first to cast it when you have your own sin to worry about. Kind of reminds me of the whole pluck the log out of your own eye before pointing out the speck in another’s discussion.
However since no one is sinless, laws still need to be judged. So another discussion comes to mind, when Jesus expounded on the Law, if one has looked at a woman in lust, they are an adulterer. It’s not just a matter of not physically sinning, but of judging from a sinful heart. And apparently they were convicted of their sins, for they dropped the stones and left.
I will always love the words of Jesus, neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.
Perfect love in truth. It is possible for Christians to share the love of Jesus while reminding them of the truth of Jesus. We can love the person, yet remind them that Jesus doesn’t give pass to sin, but saved us from it. Kind of like in yesterday’s post that Jesus forgives no matter the sin, as He has already paid our ‘fine’ and taken our punishment. Go and sin no more is a reminder that even though we’ve been forgiven, to go and willingly commit the same sin not only shows an unrepentant heart, but also is trampling the precious blood that Jesus gave to take that sin from us.
This is why I get frustrated with a form of warm and fuzzy ‘gospel’ of so many today, where Jesus is all love… and they leave it at that. YES He is Love! And only a loving God could create love, and give it so freely. But he is also Holy, and people need the full truth in love, that sin destroys, and Jesus came that sin would be destroyed. To willfully ignore Jesus admonition to sin no more is to ignore Who Jesus is. And that’s what the Pharisees did. That’s what so many have done and still do, take the parts of Him that they like and agree with, but ignore that which goes against their own life choices and desires. There’s nothing loving about not telling the Whole of Jesus’s Nature, because someone who stops at “neither do I condemn you” and ignores or doesn’t know “go and sin no more” is still lost.
Jesus was and is the most perfect judge, loving, righteous and giving His love in truth.
I like the way (again) Warren Weirsbe puts the love/truth part of this story:
The law was given to reveal sin (Rom. 3:20), and we must be condemned by the law before we can be cleansed by God’s grace. Law and grace do not compete with each other; they complement each other. Nobody was ever saved by keeping the law, but nobody was ever saved by grace who was not first indicted by the law. There must be conviction before there can be conversion.
Nor is Christ’s gracious forgiveness an excuse to sin. “Go, and sin no more!” was our Lord’s counsel. “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Ps. 130:4). Certainly the experience of gracious forgiveness would motivate the penitent sinner to live a holy and obedient life to the glory of God.
This post is so long because it’s such a long chapter. While I’d love to give all my thoughts on all parts of these, there’s just way too much to go too deep. Which is why I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on different parts of the chapters we post here. So please let’s hear it…
Have a blessed day all.