Chapter 8 opens with the stunning story of the woman caught in adultery (funny that there is no mention of the man caught in adultery, presumably there was one!) Jesus here so wonderfully demonstrates his grace and truth, as highlighted in John 1:14. On the one hand he demonstrates the incredible undeserved kindness and forgiveness that is so alien to human nature when He says ‘neither do I condemn you’ (v11); but he also proceeds to warn her ‘not to sin any more’.
He handles the scene magnificently. The scribes and Pharisees are ready to stone her, when Jesus throws a small hand grenade into their midst. ‘Let the one among you without sin throw the first stone’ (v7). Not only does his statement bring instant conviction to the would-be lynch mob. But it challenges our prejudice that sexual sin is always more serious than any other sin.
Jesus seemed far more upset by hypocrisy than immorality.
People often speculate what Jesus was writing on the ground before he answered. I think he was just doodling, playing for time, waiting for the Father to show him what to do. Some think he was writing the Pharisees’ sins in the sand, just in case they had forgotten them. (It’s a tempting idea!)
Verse 12 proclaims Jesus to be the light of the world – he certainly lit up her world. Perhaps that kind of grace is what it will take to bring light into our darkness.
Jesus again reminds the Pharisees that he does nothing on his own initiative (v28) and that his ambition is always to be pleasing to the Father (v29). What a great way to do life!
Verses 32-35 are about slavery to sin and freedom from knowing the truth. This is the truth we know by experience not just ‘head knowledge’. By contrast, the devil is a liar and the father of lies (v44). So much of our struggle in life is not because we are bad people or addicted to sin, it’s just that we have believed lies. Lies about ourselves, lies about each other, and lies about God’s goodness.
What lies have you believed?
Why not just take a minute now and ask God to show you any lies you have believed. Is anyone feeling brave enough to share what lies they have had to uproot from their lives?
May we be delivered from such lies and set free to live a life that pleases Him!