How do you choose to live your life?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ministerial Association

There is a very familiar account in John chapter 8 that is the story of a woman, caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus in an attempt to trap Him.

This is not the first attempt by the teachers of the Law and Pharisees to trap and discredit Jesus. According to Matthew 22:17ff, when Jesus was challenged by the teachers of the Law and Pharisees, Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So, they left him and went away.

This attempt to discredit Jesus is in John 8:3-11 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” NIV

The Jewish authorities were sure they had Jesus in a dilemma He could not get out of. But Jesus demonstrated wisdom and the correct application of the Law of Moses in doing so.

Consider these points:

Was the woman guilty of adultery? Yes! She was caught in the act. The account suggests entrapment because she alone is charged and not her lover. The penalty for her actions is plainly recorded in Leviticus 20:10 “’If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife — with the wife of his neighbor — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

Did she get away with adultery? No, she was acquitted for lack of witnesses. No one present wanted to bear a false witness to what they did not see or know. The penalty for this is in Deuteronomy 19:16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. NIV

Were the accusers motives pure? No! Their main motive was to trap Jesus not purge Jerusalem of immorality!

Was justice served? Yes!

Was she forgiven? No! There is no record of her being forgiven anywhere in Scripture. She was spared the just consequence of her sin because no accusers stepped forward.

Did Jesus act wisely? Yes! He showed respect for the Law of Moses. He avoided a fallout with the authorities and He admonished the woman, gave her excellent advice and left her with a choice of how to live her life.

How do you choose to live your life? In Galatians 3:24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. NIV

Jim Squires preaches at the Church of Christ. His contact information is 406-939-1109 or csquires@midrivers.com.

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