John 8:1-12, “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Ever since the Supreme Court made its decision last week to stop interpreting the Constitution and begin making laws the internet ( including facebook ) has been blowing up with controversy. First, let me state that this is not another same-sex marriage article though it stems from the arguments surrounding these recent events. Those of you, who know me, know where I stand on the issue of same-sex marriage so I don’t even have to go there.
This article deals with something that has troubled me for some time now on the subject of sin period. I am talking about ANY sin whether it be same-sex marriage, adultery between heterosexuals, jealousy, envy, strife, backbiting, hatred, racism, unruly behavior, murder, drinking alcohol, taking drugs and I include the so-called legal marijuana, cohabitation, idol worship, materialism and the list goes on and on and on. So, I want to be clear that this article does speak out against gay-marriage, but it goes way beyond that as well.
It seems that every time our culture tries to make an excuse for sin we see certain verses in the Bible thrown around out of context. This is extremely troubling when there are lost people trying to interpret the word of God when they don’t even know the Author of the Word. However, it should not surprise us because the devil has been doing that ever since he was cast out of Heaven. There is something that is even more troubling to me than lost people trying to use Bible verses against God’s children. It is the fact that there are so many Christians that use God’s word out of context themselves. Let me further explain.
Look again at the verses above. Most people, including many Christians will gladly share verse 7 where Jesus tells the men around Him, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. “ . Then, they move on to share that Jesus asks the woman caught in adultery “where are those accusers of yours?”. He in a sense asks her, “Are there any that accuse you or stone you?”. She tells Jesus there aren’t any who accuse me or attempt to stone me. So Jesus tells her, “Neither do I condemn you”. So, out of 12 verses here in John 8 that provide FULL CONTEXT to what’s going on between Jesus, the lady caught in adultery, and those around her accusing her, we end up getting about ½ of two of those verses. So, what’s the big deal you ask!
It is a BIG DEAL any time that we take God’s word out of context, add our on pre-text, or only share part of the truth. We must be careful not to do any of those things, but instead share God’s word in it’s context, and in it’s truth! We would be better to keep our mouths shut then to share God’s word out of context.
I also think it’s a BIG DEAL that we have Christians doing this very same thing. It shouldn’t take us by surprise when lost people do this, but we have Christians leading other people astray by not studying and understanding the truth. It is serious business.
Praise God for the first part of verse 11 where Jesus said that He does not condemn her either, but we cannot stop there and just totally overlook the very last part of verse 11. Jesus finished His statement with these powerful words, and COMMANDED her saying, “go, and sin no more.”. That’s the part I rarely ever hear mentioned by non-Christians and Christians alike.
Think about how important those words are, “go, and sin no more.”. This absolutely makes a BIG DIFFERENCE in what people generally quote of Jesus not throwing a stone at her, and saying that He does not condemn her. Jesus is saying to this lady that she needs to trust Him, trust His word, and turn from her sin ( repentance ) and grow from that point on. Repentance is turning from sin and a sinful lifestyle and becoming a Christ-follower. You see, she could not follow Christ if she continued in her sin. A person can either follow sin or follow Christ. If you don’t follow Christ, one chooses to follow sin, but if the end of verse 11 is just left out we would never know that based on that one verse. We would only have half the truth. So, that’s why it is so important to understand we must share the Word of God, but we must share it in its context.
Jesus goes on to say in verse 12 that anyone who walks in Christ will walk in the light and not in darkness. Jesus is the Light of the world. ( John 1 ).
Dear friend, I ask you an important question. Are you a Christ follower? If so, please be careful about jumping on just any ban-wagon because the majority of other people seem to be doing so. We must be as Jesus said, “wise as serpents yet gentile as a dove” ( Matthew 10:16 ). In these days we are seeing our culture and country celebrate many different sins. We, as Christians, must STAND FIRM in Christ. We must put on the full armor of God and have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel. ( Ephesians 5-6 ). However, we must be careful to stay on the road of righteousness and not fall into the ditch on either side of the road. On one side there is the ditch of hatred. If you have hatred in your heart for any sinner, you are not following Christ, and you are not reflecting God as love. On the other side of the road is the ditch of sinful approval. In that ditch we find ourselves being soft on sin to the point that we show approval for sin that God says is absolutely abominable in His sight. Many that fall into that ditch believe they are showing Christ by being nice and supportive to people in their sin. Friend, you can be nice without showing approval. You can be loving with approving of sin. To fall into this ditch is as unloving as the ditch ( hatred ) on the other side of the road because you are likely to love someone in their “lostness” right to hell for eternity.
So what do we do? We must share the Gospel. We must compassionately take the God’s word to lost people and show them why they need to be saved. People don’t know they need to be saved, until they know what they need to be saved from. Sharing God’s justice, God’s mercy, and God’s grace ( ALL THREE ) is the most loving thing a Christian can do for anyone. That’s the only way to stay on the road to righteousness and not fall into the ditches on either side of the road.
Thank you for taking time to read this today!
His servant & yours,