Jesus - The Light of the World (Article 20-6)
In John 8:1-12, we read about Jesus returning from the Mount of Olives, to partake in the Tabernacle Ceremonies in Jerusalem, which was one of the annual Jewish holidays. Christ was aware that the Jewish Priests were actively seeking ways to arrest him.
On one occasion, they brought a woman in front of him who had been caught in committing adultery. By doing so, The Jewish leaders and Pharisees aimed to trap Jesus into saying something they could use against him, thus giving them cause to arrest him.
With the woman presented in front of Jesus, the Jewish Leaders and Pharisees stated to Jesus, “Teacher,” this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The Law of Moses says we must kill her! What is your view? Knowing what dwelled in their evil hearts and their intent to entrap Jesus by asking him the question, Jesus merely stooped down and wrote something in the dust with his finger.
God Confronts Hypocrisy. As he continued to stay stooped down, the Jewish leaders and Pharisees became increasingly impatient with Jesus and kept demanding an answer. Finally, Jesus stood up and stated to the Jewish Leaders and Pharisees, “All right, go ahead and hurl stones at her until she dies, but only the one who has never sinned may throw the first stone." He then stooped down again to write in the dust. Having their hearts convicted of their own hypocrisy, the Jewish leaders and Pharisees, beginning with the eldest, slipped away one by one, without one stone being cast at the woman. Jesus then stood up and addressed the woman and asked her, “Where are you, accusers? Did even one condemn you? The woman replied, “No Sir.” And then Jesus simply said, “Neither do I.” “Go and sin no more.” Jesus concludes by saying to all who were in ear’s distance, “I am the light of the world. He, who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life!” See, the Jewish leaders knew the purpose of the Law. They could quote the Law, and likely the whole Tora; however, they could not live by the same rules that they so conveniently “cherry-picked” to condemn others, for their self-perceived righteousness and decision to live by the Law revealed them as hypocrites, thus deceivers of the truth. As it relates to us today, the Law remains holy and continues to reveal our sins, but the one thing the Law cannot offer is life, for it offers only death.
God Confronts the Self-Righteous. Throughout the Books of the Gospel, Jesus confronted the self-righteous with their own sins, but He showed mercy to those who were convicted of their sins and were repentant, meaning that they had a change of understanding to the truth and the way. Granted, in this story, there is no direct statement that the woman was repentant, but I think we can conclude that by Jesus’ gracious words to her, she did repent. Jesus knows what is in every heart, and He is always quick to offer Grace to the broken. The story illustrates the truth that God reveals to us when He says, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” It is God’s privilege and His delight to show Grace to undeserving sinners. Guess what? That’s you and I, and everyone in the world, and yet to be born into it.
In Closing. In closing, let me say that Grace does not do away with God’s justice, for the Law must be upheld; however, God chose, based on His eternal and unconditional love for us to be gracious by way of a great love offering. What was His love offering to us? It was the offering of His one and only beloved son to serve as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins now. As Romans 3:26 states, God’s righteousness is displayed in that He is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus,” whose death satisfied God’s wrath against our sin. We, however, must believe in more than “who” Jesus is to have salvation. We must believe in “what” he is and “what” he did on the cross, by way of His death and resurrection! Let me say again, that we must believe in more than “who” Jesus is to have salvation. We must believe in “what” he did by way of his death and resurrection, can we have given eternal life. For this brothers and sisters, is what Paul refers to as “saving faith” and not just faith.
Finally, also know, that by believing in Him now, we can walk in His light of life, never knowing darkness, for light overcomes it!