1 John 8:1-11, "Sexual Wounds"
It is possible we see so many sexual wounds in our lives today that we think these sexual wounds are just a normal part of our lives, but in Genesis 2 actually teaches us sexual wounds and sexual brokenness isn’t what God intended for in the very beginning.
Now, our culture today hears that description of sexuality, and is deeply offended. Our culture says, “We aren’t sexually wounded.' In fact, all of the sexual shame in our culture today is because of some ill informed puritans.”
We just need to break off those sexual shackles. We need to become sexually enlightened, we need to become sexually free, and at first glance it kind of sounds wise until you realize our culture has been running that play since the 1960’s, and the promise of sexual liberation seems really confusing.
- On one hand our culture tells us that we are simply evolved animals, monkey ancestors, simply living out our basic animal sexual desires, and the next day someone in our culture will become deeply offended by sexual harassment in the work place.
- On one hand we have our culture telling us that men and women are the same, there are no differences, in fact we should remove sexual identifying pronouns, and the next article in our newsfeed is a man describing himself as being trapped in a woman’s body
Our position as a church family is that Scripture does provide answers about sexuality, and our hope through this series is that we can find answers that bring clarity. Lets look at verses 1-3: (SLIDE)
John 8:1-3, “8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court”
- In verse 3 we see the famous interaction with the woman caught in adultery. The word “adultery” in the original language is a word that is associated with prostitution, so that in verses 1-3 we are seeing a prostitute who is literally “caught” in the act of adultery.
- It means the verses we are reading this morning are sexually charged. It means our grandparents probably didn’t feel comfortable talking about sex, I am not particularly comfortable talking about sex, but Jesus is like, “Lets go!”
- Do you know why? It is because the God of Scripture isn’t surprised by our sexual wounds. The God of Scripture didn’t take on flesh to walk in humanity, so that He could simply throw shade at sexual brokenness.
- Jesus knows we were created to dwell in perfection with Him for eternity, but we have wondered out on our own, we have submitted our lives to death and destruction, so that Jesus is expecting to see a whole cluster of sexual brokenness.
John 8:4, “4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.”
- The word “they” is a reference to the scribes and Pharisees in verse 3, and the scribes and the Pharisees represent the second group of people we talked about this morning.
- The scribes and the Pharisees are using holy words on the outside, but on the inside their hearts are hard, because these religious leaders aren’t trying to shepherd this woman through life, and restore her in a spirit of gentleness like we see in Galatians 6.
- On the one hand Jesus has been talking about grace, mercy, tenderness, and life in His Kingdom on earth, but Leviticus 20 and Deuteronomy 22 make it clear that sexual activity outside of marriage was punishable by execution. Therefore, does Jesus uphold His message of grace, or does Jesus uphold the authority of God’s Word? Which one?
- In verse 4 the religious leaders are thinking, “We got Jesus!” But, Jesus isn’t some normal human being; this is God in the flesh about to drop the mic!
John 8:5-6, “5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.”
- What Jesus does in John 8 is so helpful, because He provides a model for us in our conversation around sexual wounds, and really a model for all cultural discussions today, which is to model grace and truth.
- In verses 5 and 6 Jesus knows the Jewish law mandated the accusation of adultery must have two eye-witnesses, because execution was so severe you didn’t want it manipulated, so there needed to be two eye-witnesses, and their stories had to match 100%.
- In addition, Jesus knows it takes two people to commit adultery, therefore, why didn’t the religious leaders bring the man also? Under Jewish law the man would have been held just as accountable for adultery as the woman, so why did the religious leaders bring only the man?
- Jesus is so good.Jesus knows the religious leaders hearts are hard, and again, even in the hardness of their hearts, Jesus doesn’t bring condemnation.
- Imagine Jesus’ offense of being tested by His own creation, by the very people who profess faith in His glory, but Jesus desire in their lives, and in our lives, and in all of humanity is to bring His light into our world, so that death is exposed for what it is, so that we might turn from death and find life in Him today.
John 8:7-9, “7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.”
- Usually at this point everyone wants to talk about what Jesus wrote in the ground, and we don’t know what Jesus writes in the ground, because we have what we need to know in verse 7 when Jesus says, “He who is without sin, throw the first stone.” Do you see Jesus response layered with grace and truth! Lets break down that response:
- Sometimes Jesus response in verse 7 gets used in our movies and television shows, so that Jesus response in verse 7 only sounds like grace. Sometimes we will hear some character say, “Yea, ye who am I to throw the first stone?”
- But, Jesus knows the religious leaders are sinners. Jesus knows the religious leaders didn’t bring the man involved in adultery. Jesus sees their hypocrisy. Jesus sees their conspiracy.
- Therefore, Jesus words in verse 7 are not just filled with grace, but also truth as Jesus calls out the hardened hearts of the religious leaders.
John 8:10-11, “10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
- Notice Jesus’ doesn’t say, “I do not condemn you” and walks away. No, Jesus aim is always grace and truth. Jesus aim is to expose death, so that we turn from death toward life in Him.
- Lets go slowly. The phrase, “I do not condemn you” is only able to be said by Jesus because He knows that soon, very soon He will be taking her condemnation, the condemnation of the religious leaders, and the condemnation of the world upon Himself at the cross.
- We need to be clear. Stones are going to be throne because of the offense of our sin is death. Our culture is confused if you think we can just say, “Love is love” hold up some heart fingers, and the injustice of humanity is reconciled.
- Therefore, Jesus is only able to say, “I do not condemn you” because Jesus is about absorb our stoning upon Himself at the cross. This is the gospel!