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What Would Jesus Do?

John8:211

The Woman Caught in Adultery


Whysignificantforthesexualitydebate? Somearguethisstorydemonstrates n Jesustoleranceofhumansin n Jesusintoleranceofajudgementalspirit n Jesuscompassiontrumpsanydisapprovalofany personsbehaviour n Jesuswouldnotcallhomosexualpracticesin n JesustaughtaninclusiveGospelthattodayshould includethosepractisingahomosexuallifestyle

John 8:2-6
Atdawn THEMES Jesusappearedagain inthetemplecourts, whereallthepeoplegatheredroundhim, andhesatdowntoteachthem. PHYSICAL MOVEMENT, TEACHING Theteachersofthelaw and thePhariseesbroughtawomancaughtinadultery. POLICING ADULTERY Theymadeherstandbeforethepeople PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and saidtoJesus, / POLICING ADULTERY Teacher,thiswomanwascaughtintheactofcommittingadultery. IntheLaw LAW Mosescommandedustostonesuchwomen. EXECUTION Nowwhatdoyousay? INTEROGATION Theywereusingthisquestionasatrap, TRAP inordertohaveabasisforaccusinghim. ACCUSATION

John 8:7-8
ButJesusstoopeddown PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andstartedtowriteontheground WRITING withhisfinger. Whentheykeptonquestioninghim, INTEROGATION hestraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and saidtothem, Ifanyoneofyouiswithoutsin, INNOCENCE lethimbethefirsttothrowastoneather. SITTING IN JUDGEMENT Againhestoopeddown PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and wroteontheground. WRITING

John 8:9-11
Atthis, thosewhoheard, bytheirconsciencebeingconvicted, CONSCIENCE begantogoawayoneatatime, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT theolderonesfirst, untilonlyJesuswasleft, withthewomanstillstandingthere. Jesusstraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and,havingseennoonebutthewoman, askedher, Woman,wherearethoseaccusersofyours? ACCUSERS Hasnoonecondemnedyou? JUDGING OTHERS Noone,sir,shesaid. ThenneitherdoIcondemnyou,Jesusdeclared. CONDEMNATION Go, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andfromnowonsinnomore. STOP SINNING

What is this story about?

The Themes
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Adultery? Judgementalattitudes? Hypocrisy? Tolerance? Lawv.Grace? Release? SubThemes Teaching(verbalandvisualaction) TheLaw(howtoapplyitsdemands?) Entrapment(whotrapswho?)

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What is this story about? The People Involved


Jesus n HisListeners n TheMoralists
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(Pharisees&TeachersoftheLaw)
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TheWoman

What is this story about? The People Involved


TheMoralists
(ThePharisees&TeachersoftheLaw)

What Did Jesus Do?


Didheshowthemoralistsofhisday thattheyshould toleratesexualmisbehaviour asacommonweaknessoftheflesh? Q: Whenistolerationavirtue and whenisitavice?

John 8:9-11
Atthis, thosewhoheard, bytheirconsciencebeingconvicted, CONSCIENCE begantogoawayoneatatime, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT theolderonesfirst, untilonlyJesuswasleft, withthewomanstillstandingthere. Jesusstraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and,havingseennoonebutthewoman, askedher, Woman,wherearethoseaccusersofyours? ACCUSERS Hasnoonecondemnedyou? JUDGING OTHERS Noone,sir,shesaid. ThenneitherdoIcondemnyou,Jesusdeclared. CONDEMNATION Go, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andfromnowonsinnomore. STOP SINNING

What Did Jesus Do?


Didhedemonstratethat nooneshouldjudgeanother fortheirbehaviour? Q: Whatisthedifferencebetween beingjudgemental inourattitudetoothers and believinganactiontobewrong inourjudgement?

John 8:9-11
Atthis, thosewhoheard, bytheirconsciencebeingconvicted, CONSCIENCE begantogoawayoneatatime, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT theolderonesfirst, untilonlyJesuswasleft, withthewomanstillstandingthere. Jesusstraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and,havingseennoonebutthewoman, askedher, Woman,wherearethoseaccusersofyours? ACCUSERS Hasnoonecondemnedyou? JUDGING OTHERS Noone,sir,shesaid. ThenneitherdoIcondemnyou,Jesusdeclared. CONDEMNATION Go, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andfromnowonsinnomore. STOP SINNING

What is this story about? The People Involved


JesusListeners (Allthepeoplecomingtohim intheTemple afterdawn tobetaught) Note:theycameearlyandallleftearly!

What Did Jesus Do?


Didhecondemnselfrighteousjudgement of asexualsin? Q: Howshouldthefact(ofinclusiveness)that allofusaresinful effect thewayweviewthefaultsofothers? Shouldwejustturnablindeyetoallsin?

John 8:9-11
Atthis, thosewhoheard, bytheirconsciencebeingconvicted, CONSCIENCE begantogoawayoneatatime, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT theolderonesfirst, untilonlyJesuswasleft, withthewomanstillstandingthere. Jesusstraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and,havingseennoonebutthewoman, askedher, Woman,wherearethoseaccusersofyours? ACCUSERS Hasnoonecondemnedyou? JUDGING OTHERS Noone,sir,shesaid. ThenneitherdoIcondemnyou,Jesusdeclared. CONDEMNATION Go, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andfromnowonsinnomore. STOP SINNING

What is this story about? The People Involved


Jesus and TheWoman

What Did Jesus Do?


Didhereleaseasinnerfrom condemnation and thesin? Q: IftheLawofMosescondemnedadultery, onwhatgroundscouldJesussay, NeitherdoIcondemnyou?

John 8:9-11
Atthis, thosewhoheard, bytheirconsciencebeingconvicted, CONSCIENCE begantogoawayoneatatime, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT theolderonesfirst, untilonlyJesuswasleft, withthewomanstillstandingthere. Jesusstraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and,havingseennoonebutthewoman, askedher, Woman,wherearethoseaccusersofyours? ACCUSERS Hasnoonecondemnedyou? JUDGING OTHERS Noone,sir,shesaid. ThenneitherdoIcondemnyou,Jesusdeclared. CONDEMNATION Go, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andfromnowonsinnomore. STOP SINNING

What Did Jesus Do?


Didheteachthat thoughwearefreedfrom theLawspenaltyandcondemnation, wearestillboundtobehave accordingtoitsmoralstandards? Q: Whatischeapgrace? Whatisinvolvedincostlygrace?

John 8:9-11
Atthis, thosewhoheard, bytheirconsciencebeingconvicted, CONSCIENCE begantogoawayoneatatime, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT theolderonesfirst, untilonlyJesuswasleft, withthewomanstillstandingthere. Jesusstraightenedup PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and,havingseennoonebutthewoman, askedher, Woman,wherearethoseaccusersofyours? ACCUSERS Hasnoonecondemnedyou? JUDGING OTHERS Noone,sir,shesaid. ThenneitherdoIcondemnyou,Jesusdeclared. CONDEMNATION Go, PHYSICAL MOVEMENT andfromnowonsinnomore. STOP SINNING

Jesus Motive
DrRobertGagnonsuggestthatJesusresponsetothe Moralistsquestioninghadthefollowingeffect: n ItturnedtheembarrassmentintendedforJesusonto hisaccusers n IthighlightedthesinfulnessofeveryonebutJesus, whohasthepower,nottoacquit,buttopardon. n Itprovidedtimeforthewomantoavailherselfofthe GospelofGodsKingdom(stoningherwouldnot!)

Did Jesus Have a More Compassionate Attitude to Sexual Misdemeanours than the Moralist of His Time?
Matthew5:2730suggestsNo! Youhaveheardthatitwassaid,Youshallnot commitadultery.ButItellyouthatanyone wholooksatawomanlustfullyhasalready committedadulterywithherinhisheart. n Jesusinfactraisesthebar!
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Did Jesus Have a More Compassionate Attitude to Sexual Misdemeanours than the Moralist of His Time?
n th Heexpoundsthe10 Commandment(Dont th covetyourneighbourswife!)andthe9 Commandment(Dontcommitadultery!) togethertoshowtheirconnection: Ifyouhavetheinwardattitude ofcovetingyourneighbourswife, thenyouareguiltyoftheexternalact ofadultery.

Did Jesus Have a More Compassionate Attitude to Sexual Misdemeanours than the Moralist of His Time?
Jesusnotonlyraisedthestandardofmorality GodrequiresinHispeoplessexualbehaviour n Healsowarnedof
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thesevereconsequencesofimmorality,andof q thedrasticactionneededtodestroyitsgrip.
q

The Issue of Tolerance


TheBibledescribesaGodwho lovestheworld butdoesnottoleratesin... Tolerationofimmoralsexualpractices wasavice, notavirtue. (RobertGagnan,TheBibleandHomosexualPractice,p28) E.G: ButIhavethisagainstyou: youtoleratethatwomanJezebel, whocallsherselfaprophet andisteachingandbeguilingmyservants topracticefornication(porneusai) andtoeatfoodsacrificedtoidols (Rev2:20,NRSB)

The End

Notes for TheLeader

A Commentary
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Weareallguiltyofadultery,atleastinthesensethatthebookofHoseauses theword.GodistheSpousewhohasgivenuseverythinganddeservesour exclusiveloyalty.WeshouldworshipthegroundHewalkson.Butinsteadwe've cheatedonHim,lookingforthrillsfromotherloverswhohavenotdeliveredwhat theypromised.GiventhatHeisthesourceofLifeitself,rejectingHimmeans choosingdeath. ItseemssoeasyforJesustosaytotheadulteress(andtoallofus)"neitherdoI condemnyou."Withthosewords,Hesavedherfromdeathandgaveheranew leaseonlife.Sowhatdiditcosther?"Goandsinnomore"isherprogram. Shemustchangeherlife. AfamousGermantheologianmurderedbytheNazis,DietrichBonhoeffer, pointedoutthedifferencebetween"cheapgrace"and"costlygrace."Graceis free.Itistheabsolutelyunmeritedgiftofpardonandlovingfriendshipextended tousbyGodinawaythattransformsusandmakesallthingsnew.Butsuch graceisnotcheap.ItwaspaidforbythesufferingofGod'sSon,sufferingthat Hewillinglyembracedoutofloveforus. Paulneededthisgracedesperately.Heoccupiedaconspicuousplaceamong theselfrighteous,amemberofthebloodthirstycrowdthatstoned Stephen.WhenontheroadtoDamascusherealizedwhohewasandwhathe deserved,hesawthegraceofferedtohimasmorepreciousthangold. Itwas thepearlofgreatprice.Inlightofthistreasure,allelseappearedastrash(he actuallyusesarathervulgarwordfor"compost"inPhil3:8) Dr.MarcellinoDAmbrosio,www.Catholicexchange.com

Commentary: Writing in the dust


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Thisactofwritingonthegroundisitselfverysignificant.KennethE.Baileyhas pointedout(inunpublishedform)thatitwasunlawfultowriteeventwoletterson thesabbathbutthatwritingwithdustwaspermissible(m.shabbat7:212:5).If thisweretheeighthdayofthefeast,whichwastobekeptasadayofrest,then Jesus'writingonthegroundwouldshowthatheknowswellnotonlythelawbut alsotheoralinterpretations. Furthermore,hiswritingechoesanOldTestamentpassage,therebyturningit intoasymbolicaction(Jeremias1972:228):"OLord,thehopeofIsrael,allwho forsakeyouwillbeputtoshame.Thosewhoturnawayfromyouwillbewritten inthedustbecausetheyhaveforsakentheLord,thespringoflivingwater"(Jer 17:13).Here"writteninthedust"probablymeanstheoppositeofbeingwritten inthebookoflife(Ex32:32Dan12:1)thosewhohaveturnedawayare consignedtodeathbecausetheyhaverejectedtheonewhoisthesourceofthe wateroflife.ThusitappearsthatJesusisassociatinghisopponentswiththose whomGodcondemnsforforsakinghimselfandwhomheconsignstodeath. ThejudgmentthattheysuggestJesusexecuteonthisadulterouswomanisin factthejudgmentthathevisitsuponthemfortheirrejectionofhimtheonewho hasofferedthemGod'slivingwater(7:3839).InrejectingJesus,theyare forsakingGod,andtherebycommittingamostshamefulact.Adulteryis shameful,certainly,buttheythemselvesareactinginashamefulwayworthyof death. IVPNTCommentaries(postedonBibleGateway.com)

Commentary: Pardon, not acquittal


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WhenJesuscallsfortheonewithoutsintocastthefirststoneheaccomplishesseveral things:itrelieveshimfromthechargeofhavinginstigatedastoningitensurestherewill notbeastoning,sincenoneoftheaccuserswillwanttotakeresponsibilityforitandit causesthemtoreflectontheirownsinfulnessbeforeGodThosewhocametocondemn endedupcondemningthemselvesbynotcastingastone. Jesusisleftalone,sittingontheground,bentoverandwriting,withthewomanstanding beforehim...Hestraightensupandasksforareportofwhathappened,asifhehadbeen totallyoblivioustowhattookplaceasheconcentratedonhiswriting.Hedoesnotaskher aboutthechargesbutratheraboutthataspectofthesituationmosthearteningtothe woman:Wherearethey?Hasnoonecondemnedyou?(v.10).Theyhadofcourse condemnedherintheiraccusations,butbynotfollowingthroughonthechargetheyhad thrownouthercase. Butthereisoneleftwhocouldstillexecutethejudgmenttheonlyonepresentwhowas withoutsinandthuscouldthrowthefirststoneJesussaystoher,"NeitherdoIcondemn you.Go,andfromnowonnolongersin"(8:11).Shebecomesamemorableexampleofthe factthat"GoddidnotsendhisSonintotheworldtocondemntheworld,buttosavethe worldthroughhim"(3:17). Jesusgrantspardon,notacquittal,sincethecalltoleaveoffsinningshowsheknewshe wasindeedguiltyoftheadultery.Hisnoncondemnationisquitedifferentfromtheirs.They wantedtocondemnbutlackedtheopportunityhecouldhavedoneso,buthedidnot. Hereismercyandrighteousness.Hecondemnedthesinandnotthesinner(AugustineIn John33.6).Butmorethanthat,hecalledhertoanewlife.Thegospelisnotonlythe forgivenessofsins,butanewqualityoflifethatovercomesthepowerofsin(cf.8:32361 Jn3:46). IVPNTCommentaries(postedonBibleGateway.com)

Commentary: Law as Revelation & Law as Prescription


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Thisstoryraisesverysignificantpastoralissues.Thefirstissueisthe natureofthecommandmentsofScripture.WeseeJesusupholdingthe law'steachingthatadulteryissinwhilealsosettingasidethespecific regulationsconcerningthecommunity'senforcementofthatlaw.The implicationisthatthelawcontainsrevelationofrightandwrong,which istruethroughouthistory,aswellascommandmentsforembodying thatrevelationinthecommunityofGod'speople,whicharenottruefor alltimesandplaces.Tounderstandthisdistinctionwemustunderstand thatthelawasrevelationofrightandwrongisnotanarbitrarysetof rulesthatGodmadeuptotestourobedience.Rather,thelawisthe transpositionintohumansocietyofpatternsofrelationshipthatreflect God'sowncharacter.Adulteryiswrongbecauseitviolatesrelationships offaithfulness,andsuchviolationiswrong,ultimately,becauseGod himselfischaracterizedbyfaithfulness.ThemoralityofScriptureisa patternoflifethatreflectsGod'sownlife.Thisaspectofthelawis unchanging,butthelaw'sprescriptionforhowthecommunityisto embodyandenforcetherevealedvisionofrelationshipsmayvary. IVPNTCommentaries(postedonBibleGateway.com)

Commentary: False Hope and Mistaken Despair


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Thisstoryalsoillustratesanotherpastoralissue.AsAugustine noted(InJohn33.8),weareindangerfrombothhopeand despair.Thatis,wecanhaveafalseoptimismthatsays"Godis mercifulsoIcandoasIplease"oradespairthatsays"thereis noforgivenessforthesinIhavecommitted."Thisstoryshows weshouldkeepthesetwoinclinationsinbalance.Thereisnosin thatGoddoesnotforgive.Christ'sdeathatonedforallsin.The onlysinthatremainsunforgivenistheonethatisnotrepented of.But,ontheotherhand,God'scalltousistointimacywith himself,andsincannotbeinhispresenceanymorethan darknesscanbeinthepresenceoflight.Christ'satonement cleansesusfromsinaswerepentdaybyday,andhisSpiritis workinginusatransformationsothatintheendwewillcomeout pure,thoughnotinthislife(1Jn1:8).Butsinmustbecutoff.We musttakeitseriously.JesushimselfoftentellsustofearGod andhisjudgment. IVPNTCommentaries(postedonBibleGateway.com)

Notes on Alluring Clothing


TheFashionWorldsphilosophyonfemaledress: n Target(Americassecondlargestretailingcompany)carriesa lineofclothingcalledXhilerationthatistargetedatgirlsas youngassixwiththislabel: Therearenorules. Whetheryouchoosetodresscrazyordresstothrill makeastatement,makeascene,wearwhatyouwant anditwontbewrong. EchoesoftheGardenofEden?

Notes on Alluring Dress


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RichardBaxtersaidtowomen(nodoubtwith1Tim2:910 and1Pet3:34inmind):
Youmustnotlayastumblingblockintheirway, norblowofthefireoftheirlust, normakeyourornamentssnares butyoumustwalkamongsinfulpersons asyouwoulddowithacandleamongstraworgunpowder, orelseyoumayseetheflamewhichyouwouldnotforesee whenitistoolatetoquenchit.