The #1 perception of Christians is that they are judgmental.
Q) How can we change that misconception?
The Jewish leaders brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery and made her stand before Him.
“They stated Moses’ law commands us to stone such women. Now what do You say?” (John 8:2-5)
1. Creatively discern & address the real issue (Jn 8:4-6)
a. If Jesus said “no”: He would violate the Law of Moses
If adultery, both are to be killed (#7 of 10 Commandments)
“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife – both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.”
(Lev. 20:10; Deut 22:22)
b. If Jesus said “yes”: He would violate Roman law
- Offend Roman leaders
- Jews not allowed to carry out their own executions (John 18:31)
Jesus was the actual intended victim.
Notice the motive is not about the woman or her sin…it is about trapping Jesus to have a basis for accusing Him!
Observe video clip
2. Defuse the accuser: (John 8:6-9)
- Jesus knew that the motive was to accuse Him
- He confronts them to consider their own past choices
- He states if any of them is w/o sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. They leave - older ones first.
Q) What does Jesus write in the sand?
- Names of the men who were accusing her?
- Sins these men had committed & match to names?
- The 10 commandments?
3. Address the sin & forgive the “sinner”: (Jn 8:9-11)
- He creates a safe place & restores gently
- He addresses her issue; not making light of her sin
- She responds honestly
He declares with great respect and tenderness:
- Then neither do I condemn you (Past forgiven)
- Go now and leave your life of sin (Future clean)
(Christ is saying – starting now…stop it!)
- Responsible to make proper life choices
- New relationship with God, men & self
- Hope for the future - clean slate
Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life.
Confession and repentance mean a change of heart.
4. Practice “Ask for Forgiveness” over “Say I am Sorry”
a. Saying “I am sorry…”:
General tone of saying “I am sorry…”:
- “IF I offended you” – no ownership of wrong action
- “but YOU did…” – blame other person; justify self
- “WHAT is the BIG deal?” – pride, frustration
Motivator: By external rules; Admit if caught
Change: No change until caught again
Focus: I was caught; rule is wrong
b. Asking for Forgiveness:
General tone of “Asking for Forgiveness”: humility, ownership, confession, desire to make a wrong right
Motivator – Internal - Police yourself; Admit before caught
Change: Self change, no “police” needed
Focus: Broke God’s law; hurt others
4-Step process of Asking for Forgiveness:
1. “I did….”
2. “I admit that I was wrong”
3. “Please forgive me for…”
4. “I commit to not doing that again”