A Different Kind of Judge
One of the purposes of the book of John is to force us to reevaluate our existing presumptions about God, and to force us to slow down and take a serious look at who He really is. But our false presumptions are what enable us to criticize, ignore, and accuse falsely–to exercise wrong judgement.
The first story of John 8 is an example of what good judgment is really about. This story, 2000 years later, is as relevant as ever. Our world loves to dig up dirt on people and to expose and shame them. However, Jesus came to wash our dirt. He is a different kind of judge than the world has seen. As we see in this story, His eyes are always fair, His heart is always merciful, and His mouth always calls us to higher living.
Questions for Meditation
- One thing this text reveals is that Jesus does not categorize sin. Proverbs 28:24 says, “Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer, and James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” How does this contrast to what the world teaches us to think in regards to sin? What does it teach us in regards to our need for a Savior?
- In the eyes of God, sexual sin is not worse than any other sins. But, the effects of sexual sin can impact our relationships, our ability to worship, and can result in shame. How does Jesus address this, and the concept of shame, in the story?
- Jesus also shows in this passage that he doesn’t listen to slander and accusation like we do, or like the world does. Instead, He longs to cover it. He didn’t come to listen to accusers, He came to be our advocate and defender. Are there any areas of your life where you’re listening to judgment from the world as opposed to what God really thinks about you?
- In our culture, we often complain and protest against the very things we use to entertain us. Our media and entertainment culture has glorified sexual depravity, greed and money, violent, and drugs and gangs. Much of our society is reflective of this, as well as our personal struggles. They are all living examples of what Galatians 6:7 says: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Have the seeds of these things resulted in bad fruit in any area of your life?
- It is clear that God does not dismiss the power of our choices. However, His grace has the power to reverse them. Romans 5:20 says, “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” What choices can you pray for God to reverse? Where in your life can grace erase any shame, guilt, or regret?