Can You Believe What She Did???!!!
April 27, 2010
The scene begins with Jesus teaching people early in the morning at the temple…
The scribes and Pharisees were so excited. They could hardly wait. They came barging into the teaching session, dragging a woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery. It’s hard to tell what they were most excited about: exposing this woman and her sin and stoning her or waiting to catch Jesus in a trap so that they could accuse him of fradulence for claiming to be the Son of God. But one thing is certain… they were so excited to lift themselves up at the expense of someone else.
This scene in John 8:1-11 is a classic example of window dressing - people making themselves out to be something they are not. It’s a trap that’s just as easy for people to fall into today as it was back in the time that Jesus walked the earth. The scribes and Pharisees in John 8 wanted peopel to believe that they were righteous and without sin, perfect. They falsely believed that it was easy to “convince” people of their own righteousness by exposing the dirt in other’s lives - the things that they themselves did not do. People today still believe the same thing.
Jesus was always ahead of the scribes and Pharisees. He could smell a trap coming from way more than a mile away. Jesus was/is truth (see John 1:1-14 and John 17:17) so anything false such as this was easily seen. As they questioned Jesus about what to do with this woman caught in adultery, He responed as only the Son of God would by saying nothing, but stooping down to write on the ground. As they persisted to question him, He finally arose and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) Wow! Each and every one of them could not help but be humbled as their own imperfection had to be admitted. They all turned and walked away one by one. We can only imagine their posture and their facial expressions as they did this.
Let’s bring this home a bit. How many times do gossips expose and look down on drunks - all for the sake of making themselves look good and sinless? How many times do food addicts expose and look down on smokers for the very same reason? We could go on and on… Sex offenders look down on drug users, etc.
Whey do people continue to do this? I believe much of it goes back to the damaged belief system of perfectionism. This false belief system basically says, “I think I am perfect or I can at least convince others that I am perfect.” If we are to really look at this, we all know without a shadow of a doubt that no one is perfect, nor can they be, not even ourselves. And the great thing about it is that we do not have to be perfect. (It is impossible anyway and everyone knows we are not.) Yet, people vainly continue to try to convince others that they are perfect and righteous and sinless. If this damaged belief system has its grips on you, resolving to let go of it now, admitting your imperfections and sinfulness and need for God’s forgiveness can prove to be very liberating!
Resolve from this time forward to be humble as the tax collector was in the parable in Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee in this parable thanked God that he was not like the tax collector. However, the tax collector “was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying “God be merciful to me, the sinner!” If we are not like the tax collector our falsehood will eventually be exposed and we will be humbled just as the scribes and Pharisees were in John 8. (See Matthew 23:13)