Sermon Based Curriculum
Sermon Date: March 14, 2010
Sermon Title: Love & Disorder
Sermon Text: John 8:1-11
Small Group Text: John 8:1-11; Romans 3:20-26
Describe a time when you were pulled over for a traffic violation and the policeman “let you off” with a warning. How did you feel afterwards? Can you think of other experiences that illustrate what it’s like to not receive a penalty you deserve? Being on the receiving end of grace is a rare occurrence; but at some point, we have all been recipients of grace — not receiving a penalty we rightly deserved. This week, we look at a story of a woman caught breaking the moral law of God which, in her day, was punishable by death. But Jesus demonstrated an amazing ability to extend forgiveness with love and grace without compromising the integrity of God’s moral law. The woman was guilty. The law demanded justice. But Jesus provided a way for justice to be served while preserving the woman’s life and giving her a chance at a fresh start. This story serves as a template for our church as we bring the gospel to the world. We are commisioned to uphold the righteousness of God – teaching that all are guilty of breaking God’s moral law and therefore subject to the penalty of death. But most amazing of all, we are to counterbalance the bad news of sin and death with the good news message of God’s forgiving love and saving grace. We can only speculate on the longterm effect Jesus had in this woman’s life; but now let’s think about how the grace of God can have an affect upon our own lives.
Read John 8:1-11 1. Read also Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22. What Old Testament Law did the woman break? (She committed adulery.) What penalty attached to the infraction of that law? (death by stoning) 2. Roman Law (under which the Jews lived) prohibited capital punishment for adultery. Why, then, did the Pharisees bring the question to Jesus while he was teaching in the temple, (John 8:6)?
3. How did Jesus’ response to the woman’s accusers (John 8:7) overpower the Pharisees malicious plan? 4. How can Jesus (the very God who gave the moral code and stipulated death as the penalty for breaking it) dismiss the woman with only a word of encouraging admonition?
1. The self righteous attitude of the Pharisees kept them from seeing the woman’s true need for forgiveness and restoration. What selfrighteous attitude might keep you from seeing other people’s need for the love, grace and forgiveness offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ? 2. Think of a person who needs the same love and grace Jesus offered to the woman caught in sin. Would you feel confident offering this person a fresh start through the good news of the gospel message? If so, what would you say? 3. Most likely, the woman had hidden her sin for a while. She was liberated only when her sin came to light and she encountered the love, grace and forgiveness of Jesus. If its true that “we are only as sick as our darkest secret,” how might you begin to discover the love, grace and forgiveness of Jesus to give you a fresh start? 4. If Jesus’ response to the woman caught in adultery serves as a template for our church’s mission to the world, how might we begin to prepare our hearts for this cause (John 8:1; Matt. 14:23; Mark 6:46)?