Friday, May 22, 2020

Facts or Purpose?

Read John 8

Because it’s about John 3:17...

Jesus was teaching and the religious leaders brought before him a woman caught in the act of adultery.  She was caught in the act!  There is no way he is going to get out of this without losing some credibility.

We could have hauled her before the Sanhedrin, but you were in the neighborhood and some are saying you are the Son of God, so we will just leave her with you.  What are you going to do?

We have 1 count of #7 of the Decalogue, Second Printing.  OK, Son of God, how do you find?

Among those who brought the woman, were the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees.  These were the lawyers for the prosecution asking Jesus to stand in judgment.

It could have gone this way:

So, this woman was caught in the act?

Yes sir!

And you bring her before me based upon the seventh commandment?

Yes sir!  Moses would demand that she be stoned.

So, you want this judgment in accordance with the law that you received from Moses?

Yes sir!

Then where is her partner?

Are we doing this according to the law that you received from Moses?

Then where is her partner?  As directed in Leviticus 20:10, both partners are to receive the death sentence.


OK.  You call it V'yakra and you don’t have any number references for citations, but they are coming.

How do you know that?

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever… Hey, I know.  Where’s the partner?

We don’t have the man.

I thought she was caught in the act?

Well, err, it’s just that…

Case dismissed!

It could have gone that way, but it didn’t.  Jesus could have played the lawyer game and won.

My facts are better than your facts.  My facts are better than yours.  My facts are better…

He could have beaten them at their own game, but he didn’t.  Why?

Jesus didn’t come to win arguments but to win souls.  He did not come to prove himself right and others wrong.  His purpose was to bring life to the lifeless.

He came to help people cross over from death to life.

He was qualified to shred the arguments of the Pharisees, Teachers, and Sadducees.  Sometimes he did.  Here we see Jesus focusing on salvation not condemnation.

We know the story.  Let he who is without sin cast out the first stone.  Slowly from oldest to youngest, the rocks hit the ground and not the woman.

When it’s just Jesus and the woman, he asked her:  Who is left to condemn you?

She replied:  No one sir.

Jesus said that neither did he.  Now go live your life the way God has commanded.

Jesus came to save and not condemn.

Here’s another example where Jesus did not let the factual ineptitude get in the way of his mission, even though the Jews seemed ignorant of their own history.  Some people believed in Jesus and were ready to follow him.  To them he said:

If you abide in my words, you are my disciples indeed,
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

The Jews who did not believe were offended that someone, especially this someone, would think that they needed to be set free.
We have never been slaves!

It could have gone this way.

Never been slaves, really?
Really.  We are Abraham’s children.

Do you remember what God told Abraham would happen to his children?

They would be more than we could number.  Father Abraham had many sons.  Many sons had Father…

Yes, that’s what my Father told Abraham.  I witnessed it.  We will get into that later, but for now think to the part where he said that for 400 years you would be slaves.

Yeah, ok, well there’s that.

And did it happen just as God told Abraham?

Yes, but Moses delivered us.  We crossed the Red Sea and the Jordan on dry land!

And did that fix everything?

We received the law!

Yes, you did but you neither understood it nor did you obey it.  You sought other gods and despite multiple warnings, you were exiled to slavery in Babylon.  Some of the northern tribes were taken by the Assyrians.   

Jesus could have handed these know-it-alls a heavy dose of humility.  He could have crushed them with the facts that they knew so well.  They had crossed over out of slavery into freedom once before, but Jesus came so they could cross over from death to life.

Jesus came to set them free from their sin.  He did not come to condemn but to save.

The people were slaves to sin.  Jesus came to liberate them, not to condemn them.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Jesus didn’t come to win arguments—which he surely could have done.  He came to save lives.  He came to rescue us from death and bring us to life, life abundant, and life eternal.


This is one that you know so very well.  For God so loved…

Thanks be to God that Jesus came to save and not condemn.


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