by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

Choosing Life (14 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part 2
Christopher B. Harbin
John 8:2-12

We like to talk about life. We celebrate pregnancy, the birth of babies, kittens, puppies, and recovery from accidents, illness, and surgery. We celebrate the rebirth of leaves on the trees, the sprouting of flowers, and the fresh green after the drab of winter. We hold parties and bake cakes to celebrate birthdays, marking off the progression of years in celebration of life. There are, however, aspects of life we fail to celebrate. Where life does not progress as we would prefer, we tend to focus elsewhere.

Jesus came preaching a gospel of life. He spoke of an abundant life. He spoke of a life for the ages, stretching into eternity. He spoke of life with the Father. He brought attention to life with the resurrection of Lazarus and bringing others back to life from death or certain death due to illness. Jesus addressed life in feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and restoring the broken. He also intervened in using legal recourses to end life.

It was a test. They were seeking an excuse to accuse Jesus before the multitudes who followed him and listened to his teaching. They wanted to discredit him and portray him as undermining as one who did not obey God's instructions or as one who was not nearly as compassionate as he displayed himself to be. They were trying to force him into a corner, press his buttons, and discredit him in the eyes of those who hung onto his words.

They found a woman in a vulnerable position. She had been caught in the act of adultery. Though the law was normally not applied, she could be formally accused and stoned by the witnesses to her failure. Everyone knew the rules. Everyone knew her life was forfeit before the rules of the Mosaic code. They also knew that in practice, a divorce was the more common consequence of adultery than was stoning in accord with the Mosaic code.

If Jesus were truly a prophet after the tradition of Moses, ...

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