The Light of the World — Part 4

Sermon delivered on April 24th, 2016

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: John 8:1-12



The woman in the story we just read was caught in the act of adultery and what's worse is that it was made public. The religious authorities humiliated her by dragging her into the temple where there were crowds of people, many of whom would have known her.


This story reminds me of what I had witnessed in the Philippines as a young boy. There was a young man who was caught stealing and as a punishment he was made to march around the town with a sign hanging around his neck which says in big bold letters, "I am a thief." Not only that, to make sure that all the people in town would know it, he was accompanied by a man with a loud drum calling everyone's attention as they march around the town. It must have been an embarrassing and a frightening experience!


Have you ever been caught doing something bad, maybe, lying to your parents, cheating on a test or on your tax return, or caught speeding and get pulled over by a police officer? To be caught in the act is embarrassing but it is worse if it is made public. But it is also frightening if you know your are stuck and there is no way out.


That is exactly what the woman caught in the act of adultery was going through. Her accusers demanded that she be stoned to death for her terrible act. It was both embarrassing and frightening!


I love this story because in what seems a hopeless and an inescapable situation it offers hope and forgiveness.


I - A Rude Interruption

John 7:53 And every man went unto his own house. 

John 8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

While every man went to his own house our Lord went to mount of Olives, for our Lord never owned a house down here on earth.


Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.


He Who was rich became poor for our sakes.

2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.



John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 

Here we see Jesus going to his favorite place, the Mount of Olives and the following day we find our Lord teaching the people in the Temple.


But then we read in ....

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 

He was rudely interrupted by the scribes and Pharisees. They brought a woman caught in the act of adultery and they made her stand in the front of the crowd for everyone to see.


II - An Accurate Accusation

John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5: Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

After rehearsing what Moses declared in the law, they asked Jesus - "...but what sayest thou?" In other words, do you agree with Moses or not? Will you uphold the law of Moses?


They were absolutely correct! The woman was caught in the act of adultery and according to the Moses' law, she must be stoned to death. According to the Law, she deserved to die - 

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.


Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.


III - A Malicious Intention

The motive behind this is not hid from us, for the Scripture reveals it to us. The Pharisees brought the woman caught in the act adultery to Jesus, not because they were grieved that God's law was broken. And clearly they do not care about the woman. Their intention was to use this woman to exploit her sin and trap Jesus and to discredit Him before the people. Their intention was to tempt and to accuse Him.

John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him...


Isn't that what Satan does. He tempts us so that he would have something to accuse us of before the Father.

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.


The enemies of Christ had a well thought-out plan to trap Him. If Jesus condemns her to be stoned, that would made Him look mean and unkind. But if He sets her free, He would violate the law of Moses, therefore He is not of God. So, whichever He chooses to do, He would be in trouble.


IV - A Clear Violation

It is ironic because they are asking Jesus if He is going to follow the law, but they are the ones who were violating the law.


First of all, the law says that both the man and the woman who committed adultery must be punished, so, where is the man? They basically violated the law by not bringing him before Jesus. 


Secondly, they also violated the law when they set up a trap in the first place. They pretend to be so concerned with the law but they were ready to violate it in an attempt to trap Jesus. 


V - An Unusual Reaction

But how did our Lord react or respond to this interruption and their evil plan? 


1. He Ignored Them.

John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 

Our Lord knew their purpose and while they were talking, He just knelt down and began to write on the ground as if He did not hear them. What Jesus wrote on the ground that remains a mystery to us. Many preachers speculate what He wrote. One preacher speculates that our Lord was writing all the sins the accusers are guilty of. Another preacher, speculates, He was writing all the names of the accusers. Then again another, speculates, He was writing all the names the accusers had had a relationship with. But nobody really knows and I believe we will never know since it is not revealed to us. But whatever the Lord wrote on the ground, it surely got their attention and brought conviction to the accusers, young and old.


2. He Exposed Them.

John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8: And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9: And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Criminals do not like to work in the broad day light. They want darkness. If a policeman comes in the night and shines his spotlight on the thief breaking into a house, the thief runs for cover.


Jesus, the light of the world, shined His light on them and they were exposed. Like criminals, they run for cover, from oldest to youngest, they left in shame after encountering the Living Son of God. These leaders dug a pit for Jesus - into which they fell themselves.


Psalm 57:6 They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.


Christ's enemies had set a trap to discredit and disgrace Jesus, but failed to a catch Him. They had dug a deep pit in ensnare Him, but they themselves have fallen into it.


VI - A Tender Compassion

John 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11: She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 

The woman is stuck with the law and there is no way out. Imagine, what was going through her mind? If only one of her accusers picks up a rock and starts to throw it at her, she is going to die right there. But now, although her accusers are all gone, she is standing before the One who is without sin. The only One Who is qualified to throw a stone chose not to! Jesus showed her mercy and grace!


Grace Unexpected

Who knew that, that very day she would received forgiveness and deliverance. 


Grace Undeserved

She deserved to die but she received life and not death. This is a beautiful illustration of the Gospel of grace. The Gospel offers and gives forgiveness and not condemnation to the undeserving.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19: And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


VII - A Solemn Admonition

We  need to understand that Jesus Christ is not condoning sin nor excusing sinner. He knows that this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus is not minimizing her sin.


He did not say, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin more. No, that's not what He said, but rather, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


Jesus sets her free without condemnation, but with the solemn admonition to go and sin no more. I do not condemn you, now, go and leave your life of sin.


Now, forgiveness is free, but it is not cheap. Jesus is able to let the woman go without condemnation because He Himself will take the condemnation. He Himself will pay the price.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:


VIII - A Gracious Revelation

Then Jesus revealed Himself to her ... 

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

After the Lord had shined the light of repentance and forgiveness into her soul, He revealed  Himself  to her as the Light of the world and the Light of life.


What a fitting conclusion Jesus brings to that event by saying, "I am the light of the world. I have shined upon you the light of repentance. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness. Go, and sin no more."


The woman had walked in darkness and in gross immorality, but Jesus revealed Himself to her as the saving light. 


John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Salvation is not simply having our sins forgiven. Salvation is much more than receiving forgiveness. Salvation is receiving the Light of Life. Salvation by grace bring new life, eternal life.


What is eternal life?

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.



Come to the light. Come to Jesus Christ. Come out of your darkness, come out of your fears, come out of your guilt, come out of your condemnation, come to Him who is the life and light. May God help you to come to Him who has offered the atoning sacrifice for Jews and for Gentiles.


John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

When you believe in Jesus as your precious light, when you follow Him as your truth and your wisdom and your way and your beauty, you have His life, you are "a child of light." You are begotten into the family of light. And this light will never go out. 


Our Lord is the light of the world. "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness. He shall have the light of life.

What an offer! It is a universal offer. He offers Himself as Light and Life to you and me, to all of us. Come and follow the Light! Come and believe Him!