Collateral Damage

Message/Application: In John 8 the very first story is about the adulteress woman who was “caught in the act.” Jesus was in the temple complex teaching when the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman to him to make their accusations. I have heard and read this story more times than I can count, and I have heard this story interpreted and presented from all kinds of angles. What struck me really hard today was that the whole thing really didn’t have much to do with the woman or her sin at all. She was used as a pawn to entrap Jesus in the hopes of discrediting him. I don’t believe they cared at all about what she was doing. These religious leaders were using her at a worse level than the man she was caught in adultery with. They humiliated her by dragging her to the temple, bringing their accusations and their threats to stone her to death, but what they were really after was Jesus’s response. They hoped and thought they could get Jesus to feel trapped between contradicting Moses or contradicting himself, so this was their goal, and the woman was the collateral damage. They weren’t counting on the response Jesus gave them though. Instead of forcing Jesus to choose one of their responses, he chose his own response by humiliating them and exposing their own hearts. Backfire! This is exactly what the enemy of our soul does. He uses our sin issues to accuse us and humiliate us, but like the woman, we have been forgiven and released by Jesus!

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