[SW285] 06/02/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Jesus, the Light of the World!”
Text: John 8:1-12
Jesus is the Light of the world! Those who follow (obey) Him will no longer walk in darkness (sin), but will have the Light of eternal life! And if they continue in His word, He will make THEM lights of the world (Matthew 5:14)!
John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens (sheds His rays upon) every man.
He sheds His light on all people! Upon whom does He shed light, in this passage?
What is the purpose of His light? The effect?
Verses 1-2 — Jesus spent the night alone on the Mount of Olives, and went at dawn into the Temple in Jerusalem. Everyone was coming to Him, because they had heard His words and seen His signs.
So He sat down (a teaching posture) and began to teach them.
Verses 3-4 — Suddenly, the scribes and Pharisees appeared on the scene, with a woman in their custody. They set her before Jesus, in the center of the Temple court. “Teacher”, they called Him! “This woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act!”
Jesus knew their hearts. He knows all men. He knows what is in man. (See John 2:24-25). Not long before this passage, He told them that He knew they wanted to kill Him (7:19).
This was a trap, to force him to rule against Rome or against God’s Law. Why do I say that?
If Jesus said she should be stoned by the scribes and Pharisees, they would report to the Romans that Jesus said, “Stone her to death.” But the Jewish people were under Roman law, and it was illegal for them to put someone to death.
OR . . .
If He refused to order her to be stoned, He would contradict the Law of Moses, given by God.
Even putting those two issues aside, it would have been highly unlikely to catch the adulteress in the very act. But it certainly would have been possible if the scribes and Pharisees had arranged the tryst, through the adulterous man. Again, it was a trap.
Verse 5 —The scribes and Pharisees then referred to this Law:
Leviticus 20:10 “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
Yes, that is the Law given to Moses by God. But this was a setup!
It is true that the man and woman found in the act were both guilty of adultery, but at least on her part, she was entrapped by their plan and her own sinfulness.
Verse 6 — The scribes and Pharisees wanted to have grounds for accusing Jesus. They couldn’t see how He could escape their trap.
But what did He do? He did not rule for or against Rome or the Law of Moses.
He shed His light on their darkened hearts! It was so they might repent and receive His light in themselves!
He said nothing, but stooped down and began writing on the ground. What was He writing? Many theories have been put forth, but some years ago, I searched out “writing on the ground.” Here’s what I found, in the original Hebrew-to-English translation, the Interlinear Bible:
Jeremiah 17:13 “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.”
I believe He was writing their names in the earth, and the scribes and Pharisees being scholars, I believe they understood the significance of His action. He had just spoken of living water in John 7:37-39. And the Pharisees had rejected Him (7:47-48).
Verse 7 — They persisted in asking Him. So He stood up and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Of course, they had sinned by rejecting Him, and by entrapping the woman and attempting to entrap Him). The Light of the world exposed their darkness, publicly.
Beloved, not one of us who believes in Jesus is sinless, never having sinned in our lives. We believe in Him and are saved, but all HAVE sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23) until He comes in and fills us with His glory and . . . I’ll get to that in a minute.
Verse 8 — “He who is without sin among you . . .” Jesus didn’t wait for their response, but stooped down and continued writing on the earth.
Verse 9 — But WHEN they heard His words, at that very moment, they were convicted of their sin. The Light of the world revealed their darkness.
They left, one-by-one. The older and wiser were first to leave, followed by the rest.
Jesus and the woman were now alone, and the woman was in the center of the Temple court.
Verse 10 — What did Jesus say to the adulterous woman? He asked her, “Where are they? Did no one condemn you (to death)?” Her condemners had disappeared!
Verse 11 — She said, “No one, Lord.” Her accusers had left!
And here is the very great news of Jesus Christ — “I DO NOT CONDEMN YOU, EITHER. GO. FROM NOW ON, SIN NO MORE.”
He did not condemn her, but commanded her to go and sin no more. His light was shed on her for her salvation.
I see two truths here:
Truth #1 — It is possible to repent and then be forgiven by the Lord, for all sin and blasphemy but one. The unforgivable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit by saying His works are done by Satan.
[NOTE: Here is what Jesus says to the Jews who had just openly attributed His work to Beelzebul (another name for Satan):
Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”]
Truth #2 — Jesus COMMANDED the woman to go and sin no more. How is that possible? Don’t all believers have to live like the man in Romans 7, a state that Paul calls “wretched?” Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, the answer is NO (see Romans 7:24-25)!
Verse 12 — There was no pause between His words to the adulterous woman “Go. From now on, sin no more,” and this verse. He continued His teaching, after His words to her.
So the woman was perhaps starting to walk away, when she heard Him teach that He is the Light of the world and that . . .
“If you follow (are an obedient disciple of) Me, you will not walk in the darkness (sin) but will have the Light of life!” Life as God has it, eternal life! You will not walk in sin anymore!
How can that be?
In John 8:31-36, Jesus sheds His Light on slavery to sin, and freedom from it!
Verses 31-32— If you continue (wait for) His word, you are truly disciples of His. And you will know (experience personally) the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Free from what?
Verse 33 — That’s exactly what some of the Pharisees and scribes ask. They are not slaves (though their fathers were, in Egypt, and in Assyria, and in Babylon, and they are now enslaved by Roman rule)! What do you mean, “You will become free?”
Verses 34-35 — Free from sin! If you commit sin (willful disobedience to God), you are a slave to it. And one who is a slave to sin does not dwell in the house (the kingdom of God). But the one who continues in His word (waits for it) and personally experiences the truth, is a son, and he will dwell forever in the kingdom of God.
Verse 36 — So! Therefore! Here is the conclusion of the matter —
If the Son sets you free (liberates you from slavery to sin), you will be free, indeed (really free, certainly free, absolutely and truly free)!
How does He set us free from slavery to sin? It happens when we ask our Father in heaven to give us/fill us with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)!
Beloved, has the Light of the world shone on you today? What is His Light revealing in you?
Do you still walk in the darkness of sin? Then believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is. Repent and receive Him as your Savior!
Has His Light has shown on you, believer? Has it revealed that you do not shine? Has it revealed that you are still a slave to sin?
You are free to choose to continue to sin. But for both believers and those who are not saved, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
So repent, just as Jesus taught in the Gospels! Repent, just as Jesus commanded five of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3! Ask Him to forgive you, and ask for His Light!
How? Pray to your Father in heaven, for the gift of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). Pray for Him to baptize you with fire and fill you! Pray for Him to purify your heart (Acts 15:9)! He will joyously remove your darkness and fill you with His Light!