Jesus moment

You Have the Words of Life – Part 8

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “You Have the Words of Life”.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

John 6:68 (NIV)
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

What I want to do is take some time to look at some of the amazing things that Jesus has said. What do you want? Stop making my Father’s house a market. You must be born again. True worshippers worship in Spirit and in Truth. Do you want to get well? Where can we buy bread for these people? Stop judging by mere appearances and make right judgments. Today we will look at a statement Jesus makes about being the light of the world.

Scripture Reading

John 8:1-12 (NIV)
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 (NIV)
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

1. What was Jesus writing?

John 8:6 (NIV)
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

The Bible doesn’t say so there is no way of knowing. People have offered lots of suggestions, but that is all they are. Some say He was writing down the sins of the accusers, some say He was writing the Ten Commandments, and on and on. I use to say He was playing tic tac toe but not everyone appreciated my humor. I think he was probably writing down five things He was thankful for, and so should you.

2. Jesus is the light of the world

John 8:12 (NIV)
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

As followers of Jesus we will have the light of life. The Pharisees were living out the darkness of legalism. Let’s look at the difference at how the light of life and the darkness of legalism treat the woman caught in adultery.

3. The darkness of legalism

a. doesn’t care about people

John 8:3 (NIV)
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group

b. is selective

John 8:3a (NIV)
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.

Last time I checked it takes two to commit adultery. Where was the man caught in the act?

c. focuses on the punishment

John 8:5 (NIV)
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

Legalism still is all about the punishment. It likes to tell people that they are going to hell. It doesn’t point them to a God who loves them that He made a way for them to have eternal life with Him, it just points at their sin and tells them that they deserve to die. While there is some basic truth in what they are saying, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death, this legalistic, morally superior acting, finger pointing message, is not what Jesus does. And the reality is, that because He is the only one without sin, He is the only one who could have thrown a stone, and He does not. He demonstrates the light of life.

4. The light of life

a. cares about people

John 8:10 (NIV)
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

After everyone else had walked away, Jesus is still there and He ministers to this woman, who had been so humiliatingly placed in front of the critical finger pointing crowd. Imagine this woman, embarrassed, scared, thinking she was about to be stoned to death, and Jesus, standing next to her and saying, “look, they are all gone now, and no one has condemned you”.

b. understands that we are all sinners

John 8:7 (NIV)
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

None of us is without sin, so none of us should be throwing stones or pointing fingers.

c. offers hope of a righteous life

John 8:11 (NIV)
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jesus isn’t taking sin lightly, or saying that we don’t need to deal with it, He just loves people so that they can change. If you don’t love people, you will never be able to help them to leave their life of sin and have the hope of a life with God forever.

This encounter shows us again the importance of seeing the beauty of people’s potential and being a people of mercy and grace as we walk out this life in Christ. I have said before that the church lost its voice in our culture because it had become more like the “teachers of the law” and the Pharisees, than it was like Jesus. In order to get our voice back, we need to let the light of life shine through us.

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