Read: John 8:3-11 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.
Intro: Throughout the gospels, you’ll often find Jesus frustrated with the Pharisees and religious people. These people were self-righteous and couldn’t see past their own rules long enough to realize that Jesus was there to free them from the laws that no longer bound them. In this week’s scripture, you see that Jesus wasn’t at all concerned with the Pharisees and their questions. He ignored them completely and began writing in the dirt instead. Finally, when they kept questioning Him, this is what He said:
John 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
1. What do we learn about the Pharisees in this scripture?
2. Is what the Pharisees are initially concerned with really that important to them if they end up leaving when confronted with their own sinfulness?
3. Is Jesus all that concerned with rules? What else do we learn about Him here?
4. Jesus’ final words to this woman are what? (write it down here) Does this shed light on what Jesus is truly concerned about?
Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise
Spiritual Practice: We are currently focusing on the spiritual discipline of submission. Take a moment and think of a time when you might have interacted with someone who seemed to be self-righteous. What is so off-putting about someone like that? Now take a moment to think about a time when you might have acted this way. Have you been involved in conversations where you were judging others like the Pharisees judged the adulteress woman? How might YOU judge an adulteress woman today? We are all sinful. One may be an adulterer, while another may be greedy, prideful, or envious. The very nature of being self-righteous is to dismiss Jesus and his ways. When we act self-righteously, we (consciously or subconsciously) believe that we know best. We believe our ways are best. Be honest with yourself – do you think that there is at least a few people around you that are more sinful than you? Jesus would challenge us I think to flip our thinking. Instead of worrying so much about how we stack up compared to others, we should focus on leaving our own sins behind and following Jesus. As you practice submission this week, be mindful of how you view others – when you feel inclined to condemn others, elevating yourself above them, remind yourself that you are under the kingship of Jesus and his commands. We are called to elevate people towards Jesus.
Closing verse: John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.