Series: More Than Hips, Lips and Fingertips!
Week: March 17 – 23, 2021
AIM: After studying this lesson students should know that they can TRUST God for not a second chance, but ANOTHER chance!
I wonder is there any person reading this lesson who has been in a situation in which you really wanted something to work out for you but it didn’t. Or have you ever felt like if I just had a second chance, I know I could make this thing work. When you look back over your life, at some of the situations that you have been involved in, and some of the choices that you have made, it makes you think, if only I had a second chance.
There are many of you right now thinking if I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have moved where I moved; if only I had a second chance, I would have finished school; if I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in some of the things that I got involved in.
Sometimes when we make a mistake in life it feels so final. When you make a serious mistake you might think it’s all over for you. This lesson wants to let you know that when you make a mistake in this life, with God you get another chance. Many times we have heard that He is a God of a second chance, but this lesson tells you that He is a God of another chance!
Have you ever wonder why women love Jesus so much? Or have you even thought about it? The answer is simple – Jesus treated women like a human being – not a piece of property, not as “free” labor, nor someone to tolerate or beat on. He truly loved women and saw value in them, and they in return loved Jesus! And still do! They supported His ministry financially! And they still do! They followed Him. And still do!
Having come to seek and save the lost, Jesus never shrank from close association with sinners. He ate and drank with them, in order to win them to Himself! In His journeys He conversed with women of questionable reputation. His loving-kindness and tender mercy characterized His dealings with each of them.
It is interesting to observe in our lesson the circumstances leading to the exposure of the woman taken in adultery. After spending a night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus rising early the next morning made His way to the Temple where a large company of people soon gathered to hear Him teach. But as He fearlessly taught, danger was hovering around Him, for members of the Sanhedrin were seeking to kill Him, and the Scribes and Pharisees were in sympathy with such a wicked plan. While He was seated in the Temple teaching the people, a number of the Scribes and Pharisees arrived bringing with them a woman who had been caught committing a most degrading and serious offense – adultery!
John 8:1-11 (NLT)
1 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives,
2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.
3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.
7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
- Religious leaders
- They regarded themselves as custodians of public morality
- Knowing all about the Mosaic Law, and their own traditions surrounding it, they treated sinners with sanctimonious contempt.
- To them it was sinful to be touched by a woman like the one they brought to Jesus
Luke 7:37-39 (NLT) – 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
- To test and tempt Jesus to speak against the Law!
- Knowing the gentleness and graciousness of Jesus they, perhaps, thought to compel Him to condemn Himself by opposing the “command of Moses.”
- We shall see that their zeal against the sins of others was only a cloak to cover their own vileness.
- How partial these accusers are! They brought the woman taken in the very act of adultery, but where was the man?
- Why was he not brought? Was he a Pharisee belonging to The Lord’s enemies?
- These men could have dealt with the woman privately and kept her from public shame. To them she was just hips, lips and fingertips. She was a “nobody!” They really wanted Jesus!
James 3:17 (NASB) – But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy.
- What is adultery?
- Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s current spouse or partner.
- The law and justice demanded that the adulterer and the adulteress should be brought together and be put to death.
Leviticus 20:10 (NIV) – “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.
Deuteronomy 22:22 (NLT) – “If a man is discovered committing adultery, both he and the woman must die. In this way, you will purge Israel of such evil.
- But, true to the way of the world those foes of Christ made the woman bear the severity of the offense.
- Divine justice, as James states is “without partiality.” (James 3:17)
- A Sinner under the Law
- The woman presented to Christ by her accusers was without doubt guilty of the sinful conduct that she was charged with.
- Jesus in no way condoned her serious offense.
- The law called for her to be stoned to death was another terrible fact that could not be denied.
- As far as the law was concerned she was in a situation that was. . .
- Her accusers were clamoring for her death.
- Where there is guilt the law can do nothing else but condemn.
Romans 6:23a (NIV) – For the wages of sin is death. . .
Point to Ponder: Why were they so anxious to get Jesus to condemn her, while her companion is nowhere in sight?
7) Man’s guilty prejudice and willful ignorance totally makes him unfit not only from keeping God’s law, but from administering bare justice to a fellow-creature.
8) The accusers of a guilty sinner under the law are a terrible lot – they are
ü The World
ü The flesh
ü The Devil
- The Advocate
- The Savior
- As a Jew, and as the Messiah, Jesus was under solemn obligation of respecting the law of Moses.
Deuteronomy 31:9 (NIV) – So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.
Matthew 5:17 (NIV) – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
2) Therefore, when the Pharisees quoted the law about an adulteress being stoned to death, they appealed to a standard which He regarded and honored
Psalm 40:8 (NIV) – I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”
- Earlier Jesus told the Pharisees that Moses was their accuser, and is it not strange that in their accusation of the woman they would appeal to Moses?
John 5:45-46 (NKJV) – 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
- Their question, “What sayest thou?” did not imply that they respected His teaching about the law.
- All they hoped to do was to snare Jesus into making an answer contrary to the law.
- If He held to the Mosaic Law, and said, “let her be stoned,” His reputation for compassion and forgiveness would have been questioned; His tenderness and kindness in dealing with the sinful and down and out would have been shown as being false!
- If Jesus rejected the Law of Moses, His credibility would be gone, PLUS there might have been a revolt among those who, although they were favorable to Him were yet staunch defenders of what Moses taught.
- The Acquittal
- A Sinner under Grace
John 1:17 (NKJV) – For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
1) Mystery – In answer to their question – “What sayest Thou?” He…
a) He stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground
b) He at first said nothing but He did something.
c) What He wrote no one can tell, but there must be some significance in the fact that at that moment He did stoop down and write.
2) Revelation – In response to their continuous questioning, He said “he who is without sin cast the first stone”
a) “He who is without sin” –
Ø This directly refers to Deuteronomy 13:9; 17:7, where the witness of a crime are to start the execution.
Ø Only those who were not guilty of the same sin could participate!
Deuteronomy 13:9 (NKJV) – . . . your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.
Deuteronomy 17:7 (NKJV) – The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from among you.
b) They saw the ugly mote of uncleanness in the woman’s eye, but not the beam of hypocrisy in their own.
c) They were looking only at the woman’s sin, but Jesus lifted Himself up and looked at theirs.
d) Their secret sins of unbelief and deceit are as vile in His sight as the woman’s sin.
e) Thus the great New Testament principle is introduced here –
Ø Jesus came to deal with SIN – not this sin or that sin, but SIN as seen by the “heart searching” eye of God!
Ø There are transgressors in thought as well as in deed!
Ø Christ came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it!
ü Instead of judging the woman, they find that, in His presence they themselves are being judged.
Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV) – 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
ü They “went out” because they had not the courage or manliness enough to face their own sins, especially in the presence of the Savior.
4) Confidence –
ü When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman
a) The convicted accusers fled
b) but the penitent woman stood her ground.
c) She was willing to linger in His presence.
d) The love of Christ does not compel, but it constrains.
- Another Chance
5) Salvation – “go and sin no more”
ü At this command, she entered a new life of. . .
ü The old adulterous life passed away, and she became a new creature!
ü With the words “go and sin no more” this woman had been given another chance!
Progress in the Journey. . .
It would be interesting to have more history of this nameless woman. But our obligation is to glean these lessons from this incident, namely. . .
1) To be slow to condemn every human judgment of another’s sin.
2) To condemn every sin in our own lives
3) To declare to every sinner God’s forgiveness
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Thank God for His forgiveness, grace and mercy in dealing with our sin.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Share with others how we are forgiven for our sins.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Let some know and remind others of the debt paid by Christ for us on the cross.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: When we think of how we’ve been forgiven, we should willingly, sacrificially and consistently give.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: Although our sins tend to overwhelm us, it’s comforting to know our forgiveness takes place when we acknowledge our sins and our part in our moral failure(s).
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: Beauty and the Beast
SERIES: More than Hips, Lips and Fingertips
NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: Esther 1:1-20