THE LIFE OF CHRIST
In our last lesson, we began
our study with John 7:2. Jesus’ brothers want Him to go up to the feast and
show everyone what He can do, but He does not do this because it is His time.
We looked at Luke’s account of what happened as He left Galilee and made His
way to the feast, which He arrived late to and in secret. However, He began to
teach, and we learned the opposing Jews had sent some officers to arrest Him.
We learn more about these officers and what happens on the last day of this feast as begin
our study in:
John 7:37 On the last
day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
"If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as
the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living
water." 39 But this He
spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the
Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
feast lasted for seven days, but it officially ended on the eighth day with a
holy convocation, which marked the end of the feast when the people left their
booths and went back to their homes. One of the highlights of the feast that
happened every day is pointed out by Mr. Woods:
day, during the feast a priest carried a golden pitcher to the pool (of
Siloam), filled it and returned to the court of the temple, accompanied by
throngs of people rejoicing greatly and poured it on the altar. Immediately, the Hallel, consisting of Ps.
113 -118 was chanted by the Levites and the people repeated each line after the
priests. It was a ceremony of much joy
and satisfaction. Ancient rabbis are
quoted as having said that he who had never witnessed this ceremony did not
really know what rejoicing meant. At the
close of the singing of the Hallel there was a pause in the activities and it
was evidently at this moment that the voice of the Lord rang out... (Woods, p.
each of the seven preceding days water was drawn in a golden pitcher from the
pool of Siloam and carried in procession to the temple and offered by the
priests as the singers chanted Isa 12:3: "With joy shall ye draw water out
of the wells of salvation..." (Westcott).
believe that pouring out the water was done to acknowledge God for giving them
rain for their crops. Others believe they did it to remember how God had given
their forefathers water in the wilderness (Ex. 17:5-6; Num. 20:7-11). Perhaps
both are correct. They also poured the water out looking forward to when the
Spirit would be poured out during the time of the Messiah (Joel 2:28), which
happened on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, 16-17).
the golden pitcher was empty, Jesus was offering the rivers of water that would
never dry up. Just as their forefathers thirsted in the wilderness and were
physically satisfied by the water that came from the rock, Jesus was offering
them to drink from Him, so they could become spiritually satisfied. Notice,
Jesus said they must believe and come to Him, which proves that a person must
have an active faith and be willing to obey what the Scriptures teach. Those
who do this are promised the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit had not been
given yet because Jesus would have to be glorified first (Jn. 16:7), which is speaking
of His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. The Holy Spirit
was given as promised on the day of Pentecost (Act 2).
John 7:40 Therefore
many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the
Prophet." 41 Others said,
"This is the Christ." But some said, "Will the Christ come out
again, there is great confusion among these people. Some thought He was the
prophet Moses spoke of (Deut: 18: 15, 19), which they did not understand was
talking about Christ. Others thought He was the Christ. One of their major
problems they had with Jesus being the Christ was they knew He had been raised
John 7:45 Then the
officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why
have you not brought Him?" 46
The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this Man!"
These officers were sent to arrest Jesus back in verse
32. However, after hearing Jesus speak with authority, these officers were
amazed and they did not arrest Him. They went back to the chief priest and
Pharisees and they told them the reason they did not arrest Him was because, “No
man ever spoke like this Man!” Jesus’ words had impressed these men enough that
they were willing to disobey the orders of their superiors, which shows that
Jesus was a masterful teacher.
John 7:47 Then the
Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived? 48 "Have any of the rulers or
the Pharisees believed in Him? 49
"But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."
Pharisees were not happy with the officers, and they questioned them about
being deceived. The rulers refer to the Sanhedrin. Since the Jewish leaders
were confident they knew the Law well, they made the argument that none of them
believed in Jesus. Therefore, He must not be the Son of God, and the only
reason the common people believed in Him, was because they were gullible and
did not know the Law.
the liberal Rabbi Hillel, of the generation before Christ, summed up this
attitude when he said, “No member of the common people is pious”. From the Pharisees
point of view, the common people could easily be misled by any plausible
teacher, because of their shocking ignorance of the true interpretation of the
law (F.F. Bruce The Gospel & Epistles of John p.185).
These men were so wise in their
own eyes, they could not see the truth. When we read the Scriptures, we
discover that God tends to use those who are considered weak or foolish.
As Paul said:
Corinthians 1:27 But God has
chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has
chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are
Corinthians 3:18 Let no one
deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him
become a fool that he may become wise. 19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,
"He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; 20 and again, "The LORD knows
the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."
Those who really wanted to know about Jesus
would stay with Him and learn more about Him, but the Jewish leaders were too
wise for that, so they would dismiss Jesus’ words without really listening to
there are many people who have this same attitude these Jewish leaders had.
They think they are so wise that they have everything figured out. When we
becomes wise in our own eyes, we become impossible to reason with, and the
Scriptures teach that there is more hope for a fool than a person like that
(Prov. 26:12). Let’s look at a few more:
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD
and depart from evil.
12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own
eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.
Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not
set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in
your own opinion. (See also
John 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of
them) said to them, 51
"Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is
the same Nicodemus we read about in John 3. He was a Pharisee and one of the
rulers. These Jews could not rightly accuse Nicodemus of being ignorant of the
Law of Moses or of their oral traditions, which is why he was able to remind
them that a person must be heard first before he is judged (Ex. 23:1; Deut.
their rabbinic literature states, “Flesh and blood may pass judgment on a man
if it hears his words; if it does not hear them, it cannot establish its
judgment” (F.F. Bruce The Gospel & Epistles of John p.186).
actions prove that not all the rulers were out to get Jesus. We also learn that
some of these rulers believed in Jesus, but they were not willing to confess
Him because they did not want be put out of the Synagogues (Jn. 12:42).
John 7:52 They
answered and said to him, "Are you also from
Nicodemus was willing to say something in defense of Jesus, they accused him of
being ignorant as well by asking him, “Are you also from
though they were mistaken about this, their main goal was to take away any
possibility of anything great coming out of
John 8:1 But Jesus
went to the Mount of Olives. 2
Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came
to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman
caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher,
this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 "Now Moses, in the law,
commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 6 This they said, testing Him,
that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped
down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not
hear. 7 So when they
continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is
without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." 8 And again He stooped down and
wrote on the ground. 9 Then
those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out
one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was
left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself
up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those
accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one,
Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin
In John 7:53 we learned that the people could not agree
on who Jesus was, so they went to their homes, and verse 1 tells us that Jesus
went to the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives was a ridge of hills east of
Before we continue, I need to mention that John 7:53 –
8:11 has been debated over the years to whether these verses belong in the
Gospel of John. If we examine our notes in our Bible on these verses it
probably says these verses are not in the most reliable manuscripts. However,
these verses do exist in more manuscripts than not.
J.W. McGarvey made this valid point:
This section is wanting in nearly all older manuscripts,
but Jerome (A.D. 346-420) says that in his time it was contained “in many Greek
and Latin manuscripts,” and these must have been as good or better than the
best manuscripts we now possess (J. W. McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel p. 544).
More sources could be sited, but this shows that these
verses were in existence early on because those manuscripts Jerome had access
to were much older than the ones we have available today. Also, this story fits
perfectly into the text, and it does not contradict anything in the Word of
God. Therefore, I believe this is sufficient evidence that these verses belong
and are not a later addition.
2, Jesus goes to the temple early in the morning and teaches the people there.
While they were listening to Him, the Scribes and the Pharisees rudely
brought a woman caught in adultery and put her in the middle of them. They did
this because they were trying to trap Jesus, and they wanted a multitude of
witnesses to attest to what they thought would bring about Jesus’ downfall.
They said, “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be
stoned. But what do You say?” As
verse 6 teaches, they were trying to find something they could accuse Jesus of.
They came up with this scheme that seemed impossible for Jesus to escape. If He
said the Law requires her to be put to death, then they could have gone to the
Roman officials and had Jesus arrested because Roman law would not allow the
Jews to execute anyone. If Jesus said don not put her to death, they could
accuse Him of going against the Law of Moses.
Obviously these men had planned this out. This woman was
caught in the act of adultery, which indicates she was married. If this woman
had been paid to pretend to be adultery, Jesus would have known. Since she was
caught in the act, it is possible that she was set up by one of these Jews, and
maybe one them was involved in this adultery. This plot is further implied
since they only brought the woman to Jesus because the Law of Moses demanded
that both parties were to be put to death as can be seen in following verses:
Deuteronomy 22:22 " If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then
both of them shall die -- the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so
you shall put away the evil from Israel.
23 " If a young woman who is a virgin is
betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 "then you shall bring them
both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with
stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man
because he humbled his neighbor's wife; so you shall put away the evil from
Leviticus 20:10 'The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who
commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress,
shall surely be put to death.
However the Jews pulled off their scheme, it certainly
puts Jesus in a difficult position, and it seemed like these Pharisees and
Scribes had finally found a way to trap Jesus.
Instead of answering them right away, Jesus built the
suspense by stooping down and writing on the floor. Even though this was a
stone floor, there was sand and dirt on the floor from the feet of all those
who visited the temple area, and this is what Jesus was writing in. This is the
only time we find Jesus writing something in the Scriptures. There have been
many speculations of why Jesus did this, and many would love to know what He
was writing on the floor. Some have taught that Jesus was using this as a delay
to gather His thoughts, but that is unlikely because He was always able to provide
an answer right away. I believe His silence was intentional and He did it to
focus their attention on Him. Some have speculated that He was writing out what
He was about to say, while others believe He was writing out a list of sins
these Jews were guilty of.
As Jesus wrote on the ground, these Jews kept asking Him
the same question over and over. So, Jesus stood up and said, “He who is
without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Then Jesus stooped
back down and started writing again. When these Pharisees and Scribes came up
with this diabolic plot, they never expected an answer like this. Jesus had
turned the tables. Now they had to examine themselves and decide what they were
going to do. The Law of Moses taught that the witnesses were to be the first to
cast the stone, and the others that were there were supposed to join in the
execution (Deut. 17: 2-7). Since Jesus knew their hearts, He knew this was the
perfect thing to say because apparently they had been guilty of adultery or perhaps
other sins that were worthy of death under the Law of Moses. It is also
possible that they felt guilty because they arranged for this act of adultery
to occur making them accessories in this sin. So, they became convicted by
their own conscience and starting with the oldest man, they left one by one.
Those who like to live in sin do not like it when someone
points out their sins, and they have two favorite sayings from the Bible: “He
who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” and “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Mt.
7:1). They take verses like these out of context and make them teach that we
have no right to condemn sin if we have sin in our lives.
One thing Scripture does teach is that if we have the
same sins in our lives that we judge others by, we will condemn ourselves in
doing so because we are guilty of the same sin. Paul put it this way:
Romans 2:1 Therefore
you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you
judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same
things. 2 But we know that
the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such
things. 3 And do you think
this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Too many times we have no problem seeing sin in someone
else, but we have a hard time seeing that we have the same sin. However, none
of these verses teach that we are not to judge another, we just need to make
sure that we judge according to the Word of God and we must also realize that
we are subject to that same judgment if we are guilty of sin as well.
When Jesus told these Scribes and Pharisees “He who is
without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first,” He was exposing
their hypocrisy. They were not concerned about this woman’s adultery. They were
just using her sin to try to trap an innocent man. If we allow people to take
verses like these out of context, then we are allowing them to teach that no
one can be judged or punished for their sins. But we know this is not true
because Jesus and the rest of Scripture clearly shows that sin is to be dealt
with, which is why Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge
with righteous judgment (Jn. 7:24).” This means that we can judge others, but
it has to be a judgment made from God’s Word, which is why Paul commanded the
Corinthians to withdraw fellowship from a man living with his father’s wife (1
Cor. 5). There are many other Scriptures that demand that sin be dealt with
Matthew 18:15 " Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his
fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your
brother. 16 "But if he
will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or
three witnesses every word may be established.'
17 "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to
the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a
heathen and a tax collector. 18
"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in
heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Luke 17:3 "Take
heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he
repents, forgive him.
James 5:19 Brethren,
if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns
a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a
multitude of sins.
After these men left, Jesus stood up again and only saw
the woman. He said to her: “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no
one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither
do I condemn you; go and sin no more.””
For the woman to be condemned to death, there had to be
two or three witnesses (Deut. 19:15; 17:6-7). Since, no one was left to
establish her sin, Jesus was not going to condemn her to death either. In
saying this, He was not condoning her adultery because He told her to, “Go and
sin no more.” In this statement, Jesus was telling her to repent and change her
ways, which is the same thing Jesus wants from us (Lk. 13:3). If we are not
willing to “Go and sin no more,” then we will never be prepared for heaven.
This event teaches that God loves us and wants us all to repent and sin no
more. Just as Jesus intervened for this woman, He will be an advocate for all
who follow Him faithfully (1 Jn. 2:1).
Jesus has much more to say, but we will have to wait
until the next lesson to see what else our Great Teaches has to say.
In conclusion, we have seen Jesus captivate the peoples’
attention once again, and though the opposing Jews tried to have Him arrested
and then tried to trap Him with an adulterous woman, they could not do it. It
had to be extremely frustrating to these opposing Jews who kept failing to trap
Jesus or to put Him to death, but as we know, it was not His time yet. Therefore,
no matter what they did or said, He would not be put to death until it was
time. I love being able to see all these things unfold based on God’s timing
and not mans’. It teaches us that nothing can change God’s timing. Considering
this fact, we must learn to be patient in our Christians lives as we wait on
God’s timing in every aspect of our lives.