News for the week of Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sunday School Lesson — Explore the Bible
Nov. 3: Wondering About Judgment
By Ricky Campbell

Focal Passage: John 8:1-59

The eighth chapter of John’s gospel brings us right into a Bible lesson the Lord Jesus is teaching in the temple. The religious opposition saw a chance to try and trap him when they interrupted the Bible lesson by bringing a woman that had been caught in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, said she must be stoned, “But what do you say,” asked the scheming Scribes and Pharisees? We’ve got Him now; there is no way He can get out of this one, thought the Pharisees. The Lord turned the tables quickly when He said, “Let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

Upon closer self examination, the accusers melt away, starting with the eldest to the youngest. Jesus looked at the accused and asked, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” She replied, “No man, Lord,” and the Lord responded, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” Were the Pharisees right? Did the Law call for the stoning to death of a person who was caught in the act of adultery? They were absolutely right; the Law demands judgment and justice. So, why did the Lord not condemn this woman who was obviously breaking the Law? Verse 15 says, “Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.” The Lord Jesus did not come the first time to judge; He came to save the Lost. If that woman had been judged by the letter of the Law she should have been stoned. The answer to these questions can be found in John 3:17, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Verse 12 brings us to a very important point of decision; is Jesus the light of the world or is He just another religious leader? At the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, four great candelabras located in the court of the women would be lit to commemorate the cloud that led the children of Israel during their wilderness wanderings. It was just after this event that the Lord Jesus stood and said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” This reminds me of what the Lord said in chapter seven when He said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” The Lord is revealing to these Jewish worshipers that He is the God that provided both water and light for Israel during their time in the wilderness. Jesus is claiming to be God. There is no other way to explain His actions other than He believes himself to be God. The religious leaders take issue with Him and the rest of the chapter is consumed with their unbelief and doubt. The Jewish leaders dig in and really begin blasting away as hard as they can, trying to disprove Jesus’ claims of Deity, but they are not able to disprove His testimony no matter how hard they try.

By the end of the chapter, those people who were anxious to stone a sinner are now poised to stone the Son of God. How easy it is to pass judgment and condemn others. Does this describe your attitude? Be careful, or you might find yourself the recipient of God’s righteous judgment. If you have experienced forgiveness, you know what it’s like to be restored to fellowship with God. If you have been forgiven you above all others should be willing to show forgiveness, for after all, it’s all because of God’s amazing grace!

— Campbell is pastor of First Baptist Church, Mountain City.



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