Challenging God

This past week we ha studied John 8: 2-11 in Storying. Most people, even those that do not believe in Jesus are familiar with this story. The Pharisees and Scribes bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus and throw her on the ground and challenge Jesus to bring justice on this woman. Repeatedly they challenge Jesus to test his discernment and righteousness and whether he will follow the Law or not.

What they do not know is you never challenge Jesus. The devil had tried this same temptation to challenge God and failed. These men are not going to succeed where the devil failed in Luke 4: 9-12. Jesus says to the men as they are demanding the sinful woman be stoned for her actions that whoever is free of sin should throw the first stone. After a short period the crowd and its blood lust dissipates and it is just the woman and Jesus left in our sight.

Jesus asks the woman where everyone went and if they have condemned her and she says no one had. Jesus informs her he also does not condemn her and she should go and sin no more. Jesus frees this woman, releases her from sin, and restores her. The men filled with blood lust and seeking her death realized how they were in error and also deserved condemnation and departed so they could avoid the same punishment they sought for her, which unfortunately means they also left the life giver in the process.

This is a great story, one we hear as kids and always are familiar with. It is a favorite for many because it cuts right to the heart of the matter and shows our depravity and the goodness of God to forgive. The lessons do not end there, so much more is available for us.

  • People/peers are frequently trying to trap or trip us up to sin.
  • the sinful seek to produce sin in others to mask their own sins.
  • It is easier to point at other peoples sin while avoiding our own.
  • My favorite lesson:
    • Jesus held his tongue while the accusers spoke. He allowed them to dig their own grave instead of engaging them on their own level of hate. In the process Jesus said little and achieved lots. The accusers realized the error of their ways and no one got caught in a shouting match. (this is a lesson Christians would do well to learn)

This story is great on so many levels. I just listed four but there are more. It is truly one of the better learning stories for the amount conveyed in so few sentences. Jesus really knows how to cut to the heart of a matter and educate those around him then and now.