Sunday lesson: Jesus and the Adulterous Woman

Lesson date: Sunday, April 14, 2019
Kimberly church of Christ
Kimberly, AL

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One of the great — and often misused — stories in the Bible is that found in John 8, of the woman caught in adultery.

In many ways, this story really isn’t about the woman, or her sin. It’s about the relationship between the Jewish leaders and Jesus, as they had become increasingly antagonistic to the point of looking for ways to have him arrested, thus silencing his teachings and the growing followers who believed him to be the Messiah.

It’s worth noting that the Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about this story, and as a result, readers and scholars often impute messages and motives that may not have ever been intended. It’s important that we read this story in the context of what has been happening in previous passages — combining that with what we know about Jesus in his teachings from other parts of the Bible.

When we look at these things, we see a story of Jesus making a statement not about sin itself, but about the attitudes that we often have about our own standing with God, and the willingness we often have to ignore the commandments of God until they suit our own purposes.

When we finally see Jesus left alone with the woman, we see Jesus exemplify his redemptive message, seeking to bring the lost to repentance and new life. And as we read this story, we should not only examine ourselves in how we deal with those in sin, but remember too that we are the accused, just as she was, kneeling before our Lord in need of grace and mercy.

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