While teaching in the temple courts, Jesus was again confronted by the Pharisees. But this time, they were not alone. They brought a woman caught in adultery in front of Jesus and his audience, exposed her sin, and asked Jesus if she should be stoned to death. They didn’t appear to be concerned with the woman’s dignity or, as Dr. Evans pointed out, the justice of God’s law.
- What do you think mattered most to the pharisees?
- what do we learn about the Pharisees' compassion towards people in this situation?
The Pharisees were trying to entrap Jesus by putting him in a no-win situation. In their minds, he was being forced to decide between following his own teaching or the teaching of God’s law. In either situation, he would have publicly proven himself to be a false teacher.
- What would you have done in this situation?
Dr. Evans pointed out that Jesus forgave the woman before telling her how to live, adding, “It’s a lot easier to obey when you have been set free.” God does the same for you.
- In what ways has Jesus set you free to follow him?
Verse 12 introduces us to Jesus’s second “I am” statement. Just like when he called himself the bread of life, Jesus calls himself the “light of the world,” using a natural illustration to reveal supernatural truth.
- Based on verse 12, what do you think it means for Jesus to be the light of the world?
Jesus says the one who follows him will have “the light of life”—the same phrase John used in John 1:4 to describe Jesus—and the one who does not follow him walks in darkness.
- In what ways have you felt the light of life while following Jesus?
Even though the Pharisees, the loudest voices in the temple courts, rejected Jesus, we learn in verse 30 that many believed in Jesus. We often focus on the people who reject Jesus and miss the quieter stories of those who trust Christ.
- Why do you think we tend to focus on the loud opposition to Jesus rather than the quiet acceptance of him?
We don’t often think of obedience as freedom. Many today think that obedience to a set of rules keeps us from being free. But, according to Jesus, we have it backward: his way is freedom, and living in sin is true bondage.
- In what ways has obedience to Jesus set you free from sin?
Without Jesus, we are enslaved to sin and walk in darkness. But he is eager to forgive us, to give us the light of life, and to set us free. Even when he was insulted, rejected, and assaulted, Jesus did not push sinners away. Instead, he drew closer to them, endured their questions and insults, and patiently tried to convince them of the truth.