Sunday, July 15, 2018

Well-Rehearsed Lies


Would you turn in your Bibles with me this morning to the Gospel of John. We will be taking our text from the 8th chapter today. John 8. As you are finding that passage allow me to read a few verses from the Old Testament book of:

Deuteronomy 22  NKJV
22  “If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die — the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.
23  “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her,
24  “then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

It was to this portion of the Law of Moses, (Leviticus 20:10), that the scribes and Pharisees were referring when they approached Jesus in the Temple early one morning.

John 8 NKJV
2  Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be taught the Word of God by the Living Word of God. It must have made the Word come alive in the people. Never had they heard anything like it …

God wants us to put ourselves in the Word … it’s all about you …

3  Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,

The Holy Spirit is begging us to ask some questions here. God wants us to imagine ourselves as onlookers; as bystanders; as perhaps one of those people to whom Jesus was teaching. What would you have observed if you had been there during this encounter? What questions would you have?
·        Why did these scribes and Pharisees bring this woman to the Temple? If they have two or more witnesses they are supposed to take her outside the gates of the city and stone her to death. They know the law …
·        Where is the man? Last time I looked … the act to which they refer takes two people and they are going to claim they saw her in the act.
·        And … You mean they are interrupting Church for this?
o   The Bible clearly says that the sound of the hammer should never be heard in the Sanctuary.
o   Church is not the place to air dirty laundry, make accusations or judge others.
o   You never go to the Temple trying to get God to kill someone for you.
o   This has to be a setup … sounds like the devil to me.

4  they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
5  “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”

Yep, it’s a set up …
·        It’s what I like to call:
o   Well-rehearsed lies …
o   Reckon how long it took them to come up with this one?

6  This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

Sometimes it may seem like Jesus isn’t listening but, He always is.
·        He always has a Word for you …

7  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

There was only one person in their midst that was without sin … it was Jesus Himself. What is Jesus saying?
·        You aren’t worthy to judge the sins of others.
·        Leave the judgement of other people’s sins in the hands of Jesus.

8  And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

It has been suggested that Jesus was writing either the individual sins of these men or perhaps the names of the women with whom they were flirting or sleeping with. We don’t really know what it was, but we do know whatever Jesus wrote made an impact on every one of them.

9  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Nowhere here do we see or hear Jesus condemning these men. He simply said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
·        Honest, caring, loving truth and even correction and rebuke  is not spoken in condemnation.
o   The book of Hebrews says that no correction is pleasant in the moment but afterwards yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness. (Hebrews 12)
·        Truth presented in humility, (Jesus quietly stooping down before them), leaves the situation open for the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction in the hearts and minds of men and women.
·        Men condemn, criticize and reject … God convicts, encourages and embraces repentant hearts.

These men didn’t know it, but bringing a sinner to Jesus is the best thing anyone could do for them.
·        When we remind Jesus of sinners, let’s hope He will save them and set them free.

10  When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Take note:
·        Jesus never said the sin was ok.
·        He did not excuse sin or make excuses for the sin.
·        Jesus didn’t say,
o   “I understand why you did it.” Or
o   “Weren’t those men horrible.”
·        Jesus gave her the Gospel:
o   “I do not condemn you”
o   “Go and sin no more”

John 3:17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.

Have you been saved?
·        The devil will condemn you
·        The world will condemn you
·        Religion will condemn you
·        You can even condemn yourself
·        But, condemnation and feeling bad about being bad won’t save you!

Only Jesus can save;
·        He will never condemn you
·        But He will
o   Convict you
o   Deliver you
o   Save your soul
o   And help you to change the way you’ve been living.

Stop listening to the well-rehearsed lies of the devil about you and about others.

Listen to the Living Word … He is your best friend!