This particular chapter begins in a whirlwind. Jesus is teaching in the temple and the scribes and pharisees bring in a woman that was caught in the act of adultery (nevermind bringing the man that was also sinning with her). These people were always trying to find a way trick Jesus into saying or doing something wrong. His next action is something we could all learn from. They say the law says to stone her, and ask what Jesus says should be done. Jesus stoops down and writes on the dirt, “as if he heard them not.” Now, I’m not saying the silent treatment is the way to go, but notice how while Jesus does still answer them, He does not do it right off, He takes times to consider what He will say. They kept badgering Him of course, and honestly, His answer convicted their hearts even though it held no “specific to them” judgement.
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” I hear this all the time in response to making judgements about others. Please remember that Jesus has said, judge righteously, and to take care of your own sins, so you can help others take care of theirs, all on the topic of judging. What was happening here, in this particular situation was a set up. They brought ONLY the woman, and in order for their to be a proper/righteous judgement or stoning in this situation, the man in adultery with her should also have been brought to be stoned as well. Jesus knows all this was meant to trap Him, so instead of highlighting the judgement of the woman, He pointed that flashlight back to them, their hands were tied too. They knew they were wrong in bringing her alone as well.
So they left because they were convicted in their hearts. Jesus then looks to the woman and sends her on her way telling her to sin no more. How beautiful for this woman who was dragged into the middle of all this, who should have been punished because she was still guilty of her sin, to taste the grace of the Messiah. And is that not a perfect picture for us? We are born into this mess of a world, we are sinners, and we do deserve death because of it. But there is hope in Jesus Christ. We can fall into His forgiving and gracious arms with a chance at new life! Amen!
Jesus then proceeds to have a discussion with the Pharisees about His identity and their unbelief. As per usual, they aren’t understanding that He is speaking of God, and they actually claim that He has a devil.
In Verse 32, Jesus states, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Free? Free!, they scoff, are we slaves or bondman that we need to be made free? They ask Jesus. Yes. My friends, the truth is the same for them as it is for us. We are born a slave to sin. We may think there is freedom in living however one wants with no regards to God or to others. But in the end, sin brings death. So yes, we are free to die and be separated from God forever. You see, we can only serve one master, sin or God. And while service is involved with both, one leads to death and the other to life. Jesus is saying that if we are a slave to sin, we will reap death, but if we choose to serve Christ, we are free to live eternally.
Yes, as a lost person, they can do good deeds. And yes, as a Christian, we can still sin. But at the end of the day, or rather at the end of our life, it all depends on who claims you as their servant. And only in Christ can we experience freedom unto life.