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Getting Your Attention?

Briefing: Do you have a secret? Do you have a secret sin that you hide from other people? Do you eat in secret, watch pornography, smoke, or have some other secret addiction?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 8:1-11.

On the Street: We recently had two officers in this area who were suspended due to a federal investigation over drug dealing. One of the two officers could not handle the scrutiny and humiliation this brought on him and his family. He committed suicide shortly after he was informed of the investigation.

We are all sinners. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Fortunately for most of us, our sins don’t get broadcasted on the five o’clock news. The reason for that may be because your sins are not grand enough for the news. Remember, your sin may not rise to the criminal level but all sin is punishable by death.

What would it take to get you to take your sin seriously enough to start making a concerted effort to change? For the woman caught in adultery, it was public humiliation and a brush with death. Don’t wait for someone else to point out your sin and make an issue out of it. We have to take our sin captive and turn it to the obedience of Christ.

At the beginning of this passage we learn that the day before this incident, Jesus barely avoids being arrested in the temple. At dawn, He returns to the same place. The Pharisees are aware of His return. Instead of trying to have Him arrested again, they try to trick Him into violating their law so they could have a charge against Him. It appears they learned a lesson from their police force that even though they hated Jesus, they still had to have a legal basis for persecuting Him.

The Pharisees wanted to find a way to discredit Jesus. Their attempts to have him falsely arrested did not work so they were looking for another way to dishonor Him. They brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery (where is the man?). “‘In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him.” John 8:5-6 (NIV). This was not just some random question. The Roman government did not allow an occupied government (Israel) to carry out death sentences. If there was not a Roman charge there could be no execution.

The Pharisees asked a question that had no right answer. If Jesus answered that the woman should be stoned it would violate Roman law. If Jesus answered that the woman should not be stoned He would be accused of not supporting Jewish law.

The wisdom of Jesus is just what we should expect from God in the flesh. Jesus calls them out in such a tactful way that they can only stand there in amazement. He does not give them the ammunition they wanted. He is far too wise.

This passage makes a point of saying that the older Pharisees and Jewish leaders left first. The younger, hot heads must have stood there in their embarrassment trying to think of a good comeback. The older men could tell that they were outwitted and it was time to leave before further embarrassment followed.

After the Pharisees and Jewish leaders left Jesus said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” We all have sin in our lives. Very few of us have been publically humiliated for it, still, Jesus tells us the same thing, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11 (NIV).

Investigational Resources: Leviticus 20:10 is the law that is referred to by the Pharisees. In that law it says both the man and woman be put to death.

Officer Safety Principle: “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!