TEXT: John 8:1-11
INTRO: Tonight’s message focuses on a very familiar story found in John 8:1-11 of wisdom, compassion, and warning to all of us about both being merciful rather than merely judgmental.
I. THE DILEMMA OF PROPER AUTHORITY AND JUSTICE TOWARD THE GUILTY. (1-6a)
A. CONTEXT: Jesus in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles and the religious leaders were seeking some reason to arrest Jesus.
1.) The condition of the woman: Scared, shamed, already condemned.
2.) The condition of the hearts of the accusers – Their request and why they made it.
3.) The point of the Law. Leviticus 20:10-14; Deuteronomy 22:22-29; Mishnah (betrothed woman around 12 ½ years old Under 12 was a minor, unpunished; over 12 ½ , an adult to be strangled.
4.) The purpose of the situation for the Pharisees: Vs. 6a, “They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him.”
II. AUTHORITY DEMANDS OBTAINING BALANCE BETWEEN MERCY AND JUSTICE. (6b -9)
A. Wise judgment takes serious consideration. (“For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt. 7:2)
Greek term = “write” = “graphein,” ; but here = “katagraphein”,” = “write against, or to make a list against”
a.) The sin is real and the Law is just;
b.) Who is just enough, both in personal righteousness and in godly intent, to carry out the sentence? Jesus is saying that if you do not need forgiveness, then feel free to condemn another. Otherwise, show the same mercy you would want shown to you for your real need.
2.) Wise judgment takes personal examination and honest evaluation.
III. THE DIFFERENCE IN AUTHORITY BETWEEN TEACHING AND PRONOUNCING JUDGMENT. (10-11)
(“Take the log out of your own eye then you can see how to remove the splinter from another’s eye.” Matt. 7:5)
- When a Jewish teacher taught, He sat down and gave honest but general truths.
- When an authority gives personal sentencing He stands up.
And churches are meant to be people who seek more the joy of mercy and second chances than of being known for zealous punishers of those who fail.