- Sermon Notes
It's not Over
Ilus. A debt-free drive.
Have you ever been in a situation whereby you deserved a certain outcome, but were let off the hook or given grace instead?
In our walk with Jesus, mercy is central to the core of salvation found in Jesus. Mercy is the removal of punishment for what is deserved. So often however, the reality of God’s mercy is difficult to take a hold of.
Instead of receiving God’s mercy and moving forward, we can remain stuck. God has given us both grace and mercy. Understanding and accepting this grace and mercy will provide a freedom to move forward.
In the beginning of John chapter 8, while Jesus is teaching a crowd of people, the Jewish leaders bring in a woman caught in the act of adultery. According to the law, the act of adultery came with a death sentence. The Pharisees and scribes question Jesus as to whether or not this woman should be stoned to death.
The woman caught in adultery was indeed guilty. The amount of shame and guilt associated with this scenario is incredible. Jesus knew the law, as did the woman.
The Jewish leaders, however, had a purpose beyond upholding the law, they wanted to trap Jesus. He was “the friend of sinners,” but, how could he go against the law He came to fulfill? As the woman is placed in the middle of the court, shamed and embarrassed, what would the outcome be?
Read John 8:1-11
Falling short in sin, and the shame that comes with sin, is debilitating. Many carry this shame for years, under oppression and in darkness. This leaves a person bound with a belief that it’s too late for them.
Romans 3:23, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
This morning, I want to let you know that despite what has been, even decisions you have made; it’s not over. We serve a gracious God who is merciful, He has something to say about your situation.
I. Get to Jesus
- The nameless woman in this story is caught in the act of adultery. In order to commit this act, there would have been a man who was committing this
sin with her.
- The Jewish leaders are not seeking justice, rather, they are looking to trap Jesus.
- If Jesus were to say that the woman should not be stoned, He would be defying the Law of Moses. If Jesus were to say that
the woman is to be stoned, He would be the defying the Roman law.
- The woman then, takes center stage. She would soon become an incredible example of God’s grace and mercy.
- The scribes and Pharisees, despite their reasoning, decide to seek Jesus in order to trap him and make a judgement call of either clearing or condemning
- Full of shame and embarrassment, the woman is set in the center of the court in a situation of her doing, guilty and is surely afraid.
- She was not there by her own will, yet, she was right where she needed to be.
- When we are covered in sin and shame, it is critical that we get to Jesus. He has something to say, something to offer.
- The expected outcome of this story, would be turned around in an incredible way.
A. His thoughts are not our thoughts
- Instead of understanding God’s heart, it is easy to focus on what we think the outcome will be.
Ilus. A response that indicated my heart.
- When we come before Jesus, it is important to understand that His thoughts are not our thoughts.
- Understand that His heart is mercy and grace and calling people to repentance through love and the kindness of God’s forgiveness.
- Avoid taking on Judgement and seek God’s heart as it relates to others as well.
- We can easily assume a role of judgement as the Pharisees did, but it is not our place.
Romans 2:4, Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
- The scriptures tell us that we need a spirit of meekness toward others and that the heart of God is to restore our brother.
- Without question, what was taking place went against Mosaic law and against the Word of God.
- By no means can this sin in particular be minimized. It is a sin that destroys lives and relationships.
- Even worse, is being stuck in this sin, unwilling to come before the Lord.
Romans 8:39, Nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Here we see this woman, caught in adultery, standing before Jesus.
- The Pharisees let Jesus know that she was caught in the very act.
- They also remind him that the “Law of Moses” commanded them to stone such a woman.
- They continue and ask, what do you have to say about this?
- Jesus responds by stooping down and writing on the ground. He does not immediately respond. Rather, He begins writing in the sand.
- Jesus would certainly respond, but the way in which He would respond was altogether different than the expected response.
Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
- When you get to Jesus, it is important to remember that His response, will likely be different than what we expect. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
B. His ways are not our ways
- Jesus came to earth with a divine purpose. To walk this earth as God incarnate, to make a way for us.
John 3:17, For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
- His purpose was not to condemn the woman in this story, but to save, and His purpose for you and I today is that we might be saved thought Him.
- What does this mean? This means that He is for you.
- God is not waiting to post the next mistake you make on social media. He is not waiting to send out your next error to the news media. He is not waiting
for you to fail so that He can laugh at you.
Illus. Trying to earn playing time on the basketball team.
- God’s way is higher. His heart is to save, to restore, to welcome in.
II. Pursue God’s Conclusion
- What conclusion would God point you to in your life, friendships, relationships, or your marriage?
- Likely, the next chapter in your story will look different if you allow Him to be the author.
- With the woman set in the center of the court, the Jewish leaders press Jesus to voice a punishment for her.
- Jesus confronts the Jewish leaders with their own hypocrisy and defeats them with their own trap
- "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Vs. 7.
- And as the Jewish leaders go out one by one, Jesus says some of the most beautiful words a person can ever hear, “Neither do I condemn you; go your
way. From now on sin no more.”
A. His heart is forgiveness
- God’s heart is forgiveness, He forgives, even though we make terrible mistakes.
Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
- Though we were dead in our sins, Christ has forgiven.
- When the Pharisees asked Jesus what punishment He would suggest, Jesus stooped down and with His finger began to write on the ground.
- What did He write? Many have guessed, but we don’t know. The focus, however, was now on the finger of Jesus writing on the ground. It was no longer
on the woman.
- When pressed further, Jesus responded, “Let him who has no sin cast the first stone.”
- He then began writing in the sand again as the Jewish leaders left one by one, beginning with the older ones.
- Why they left from oldest to youngest is subject to question, perhaps the older men standing there realized what he was saying more quickly. Or perhaps
it had to do with what he was writing in the sand.
- What is important is that Jesus, our Savior, gets beyond the accusation and to the heart of the men standing there.
- As they leave, this woman remains, waiting for a response from Jesus.
- What would His response be?
- Jesus would bring deliverance to pass, but in a way people would not expect.
- When you allow God to take his pen and write your story, the story changes from death to life.
B. He disarms your oppressors
- When they had all gone away, Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” …… “No one, Lord.”
- “Neither do I condemn you; go your way and sin no more.”
- First of all, He called her “woman.” This is the same word he used when speaking to His mother. It’s a term of great respect.
- He didn’t call her names, He didn’t say, “you’re off the hook, this time,” …He gave mercy.
Illus., God’s acceptance of us is not based upon our victory, or when we are good, no, we are children of God, He is a good father… “though your sins are scarlet, they will be white as snow.”
- Here before this woman, was the Messiah, and having disarmed her accusers, Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more.”
- Jesus then reveals His heart. It is a picture of grace and mercy. This scene, a picture of His intervention and response to our sin.
Illus. The oldest to the youngest.
- Jesus knew the price of her forgiveness. He gave mercy.
Micah 7:18, He delights in showing mercy. NKJV
- He points the woman forward, “Don’t live this way anymore.”
- He set her free, now forgiven; don’t go back, move forward.
Illus - Going back to that intersection, it didn’t matter how everyone else approached it. I had been given mercy.
- Upon entering the court, she may have thought it was over, but, it was only the beginning.
- In your life, you may be facing a situation beyond your control.
Lamentations 3:22-23, The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning....
- Wherever you are at this morning, know that it’s not over. God has a restorative offer for your days ahead.
John 8:1-11 NASB
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the centerof the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."