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Week Four of The ‘Invitation To John’ Disciple Course

It seems that in John 8 rather than being actively against Jesus they are disappointed that this man appears to actually be the Messiah!

The Jewish people had hoped & prayed for a king on a horse leading an army. Instead they got this man who walked everywhere and they were less than impressed. By denying Jesus and ultimately putting him to death the Jewish people were venting their frustration and even their anger, not only at Jesus for making what many people thought were blasphemous claims, but also at God for not sending them the saviour that they wanted.

The analogy of the court of law is to suggest that it is ‘his word against the word of the Jewish leaders’. His detractors want him to prove himself more, but Jesus says ‘If you truly believed in God you would know in your heart who I am’. This follows on from last earlier chapters where Jesus admonishes the Pharisees saying ‘you claim to understand the words of your prophets so well, but when the person they spoke of is standing in front of you, you cannot see me’. In doing this Jesus neatly turns the tables on his accusers, showing that they don’t understand the scriptures half as well as they claim to do.

In an attempt to catch Jesus out and trap him a sinful woman is brought forward. Instead of condemning her in front of everyone, Jesus says “the sinless amongst you, go first and throw the stone”. Instead of doing so, those who had brought the woman forward slink away as though cowed with guilt by Jesus’ accusation that they are no better than the sinful woman. However, the woman does not get off altogether. Yes, Jesus does forgive the woman (without her asking him to do so) but he does so with the caveat “do not sin again”. This is another example of Jesus saying that ‘although I can forgive in the name of the Father, this does not give you the freedom to go and behave exactly as you did before’. Instead, use this freedom to live a life that God would approve of and which is to the glory of God.

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