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Terrible Sin, Tremendous Grace
[ John 7:53 - 8:11 ]
53. Then they all went home,
1. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4. and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
6. They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
8. Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
10. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11. "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Caught in Sin (7:53–8:6a)
Imagine the worst moment of your life being broadcast around the world so that everyone knows about it—your personal failure made public. In the world of Facebook, Google, and Twitter, this is now a very real possibility. And in some sense, this is the scenario that the woman caught in adultery is facing. Her worst moment is paraded in the temple for all to see. Her personal shame is made public in the most ignominious way. While we might feel some sympathy for the position this woman has been put in (especially given that her partner seems to have escaped censure), her plight reveals a truth we too easily forget: sin is never a private affair. And in our day and age, sin can become painfully public in the blink of an eye.

Caught by Grace (8:6b–11)
Jesus refuses to let sin define this woman, and, with wonderful irony, the sin of the religious leaders is exposed. To see why, we must understand Jesus quotation of Deuteronomy 13:9 and 17:7. The law states that those who witnessed the crime must be the first to throw the stone, and further, that they must not be guilty of the same sin. The fact that each accuser disappears from view shows that they either were not witnesses to the indiscretion or are themselves guilty of adultery. With the woman now standing alone, forgiveness and liberation draw near. Go now and leave your life of sin.

- Put yourself in this womans position. How would you feel or react if the worst moment of your life was made public? How might the Gospel impact how we respond in such circumstances?

- What does it mean to you that in Christ, sin no longer has the final say about who you are? How does knowing that there is no condemnation in Christ affect your life and faith?

A Letter to
The Unreached ( | Kurmi, Hindu (India) – Hinduism
The Nations | Every year in India, many people flock to various religious festivals, resulting in huge crowds that can cause dangerous stampedes. In August last year, ten people were killed at a festival called the Somvati Amavasya, which is celebrated by those who worship the Hindu god Siva. Pray that these people will return to the one true God, maker of heaven and earth, and stop depending on and losing their lives for false idols.
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