Series: Short Stories with Jesus
Message: Hot Woman, Cold Men.
Preacher: Danni Sherwood
Reflection: Paddy McCoy
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: John 8:3–11 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Not long ago, when I was given the opportunity to work for a particular individual, I asked several people who had worked for this person whether it had been a rewarding experience. Several of them told me the same thing about this person, practically verbatim. They said, “This person will always be the smartest person in the room.” Quite a compliment, really, and they meant it in a positive way. They were saying, “He’s smart but humble, someone you can learn from.” After a few years working with the person, I found those words to be often true. On several occasions, when someone else strutted their intellectual feathers with a sense of arrogance, this person would humbly and gently correct them as needed.
The Pharisees were smart people. They spent years studying the Word of God so that they would increase in knowledge and in favor with Him. But when the Pharisees began to focus more on the law than they did on the person the law was supposed to lead them too, they started to lose their way. When that came to Jesus, they consistently underestimated Him because from their perspective, He didn’t have the same formal training that they did. Trapping Him shouldn’t have been too hard. What they failed to realize time and time again was that Jesus was always the smartest and wisest person in the room.
Try to trap Him with a question about whether or not to pay taxes to the Roman authorities and Jesus says, “Whose picture is on the coin? Give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:15-22). When the religious leaders asked Jesus under whose authority He was doing his work, Jesus asked them a question about John the Baptist in return. They refused to answer because of their fear of the people (Mark 11:27-33). It took the Pharisees quite some time to realize that when Jesus was around He was always the smartest guy in the room. Eventually there came a point when they did not “dare to ask Him any more questions” (Matthew 11:4-6).
Whatever the situation you are in, no matter how baffled you are or how difficult things may seem, know that God’s thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and His ways are higher than your ways (Isaiah 55:9). No matter what we’re going through, God knows best, and though that’s hard to understand, we can learn to trust in Him. “Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Notice that it says straight, not easy. He will make your paths manageable, and He will walk with you through whatever comes your way.
Recalibrate: Are intelligence and wisdom the same thing? What about IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence)?
Respond: Pray Paul’s prayer from Ephesians 1:17, that God will give you a Spirit of wisdom and of revelation.
Padraic “Paddy” McCoy currently serves as young adult pastor at Kettering Adventist Church. He enjoys authentic discipleship, attempts at intergenerational connections in our churches, and having as much fun as possible. His wife Tricia is a social worker specializing in at-risk adolescents, and his two teenagers, Ayden and Allayna teach him daily about the love of Christ.
In this story of the woman caught in adultery, we are reminded that we all mess up sometimes, but Jesus deals with us lovingly. When your child messes up, how do you react? Pray for a heart like Jesus’ when dealing with your child.
Think about a time you made a big mistake. What happened when your parents or teacher found out? Jesus doesn’t get mad at us when we make mistakes. He doesn’t yell or get angry. Pray to Jesus and thank Him for being so loving with us.
The Pharisees asked Jesus (concerning the woman), “Now what do you say?” We know they did not genuinely ask Jesus this question because they wanted His opinion, but they desired to trick Him. When was the last time you genuinely asked Jesus to speak on a situation in your life? He has a lot to say if we are open to listening.