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 English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: I don’t know about you, but for some reason I grew up with this intense fear that God was out to get me. He was perfect, after all, and I wasn’t—far from it, so the next slip up would be my last. This fear led into my teens and twenties and much of it stemmed from the fact that I had an incorrect view of the judgment talked about in Scripture.
I always felt like I was the one on trial and that I had no good defense because of my many sins, therefore, I was doomed to die. I pictured God up on the throne ready to zap me out of existence, when all of a sudden, Jesus would stand in the way and try to protect me. But then I realized that I had the scene all backwards because I made the judgment all about me.
First of all, in Scripture, judgment is a good thing. Look at the book of Judges. When Israel needed a savior, God sent a judge. Secondly, the person on trial is the person who has been accused, and when I read my Bible, God is the one who has been accused by Satan as not truly being a God of love at all. Satan says that God is withholding from us and really isn’t as altruistic as He claims to be. So it’s God who is on trial. The jury? Well, they’re the rest of creation who has to decide if God is truly a God of love. The evidence is each of us. For example, on judgment day the question will be asked, “In the case of Paddy McCoy, was God shown to be a loving God?” God will point to Jesus and His death on the cross that covers our sins, and the jury will respond, “Yes, it appears so.” Then the next case, and the next, and the next. All will have the same outcome. In the case of John, was God loving? God points to Jesus. In the case of Rychelle, was God loving? God points to Jesus.
Discovering this truth freed me from the pressure to perform, and now my motivation to follow God’s laws is not driven by fear of what will happen if I don’t, but by thanksgiving in knowing that God set up these laws to help me know how best to live for Him.
Jesus told the woman caught in adultery that He didn’t condemn her. The apostle John wrote, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it” (John 3:16-17). And Paul wrote in Romans 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
This is the good news the woman received, along with the challenge to go and sin no more. And this is the good news that we receive as well; not that we may have license to sin as if it doesn’t matter, but knowing that we are free from fear and free from worry because we are loved more than we can imagine and His blood covers our sins. For that incredible gift, we say thank you by living our lives in service to Him.
Recalibrate: What fears have you been living under (related to God) and how can you let go of those fears?
Respond: Pray that God will let the truth of Him setting you free settle in your heart and mind today.
Research: Read I John 4:18 and meditate on what aspect of that verse God needs you to consider today.
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.
What would it mean for your family to play as a team? Teams experience loss together and they experience celebration together. With Jesus on our team He experiences everything we experience. Ask God to be a part of the season of life you are in right now.
Have you ever played a board game or a sport where you were on a team? Did you win? Did you lose? What do you think it would look like to have Jesus on our team? Thank Jesus today for being on your team and playing with you!
Suddenly in the story, we see Jesus and the woman standing alone and Jesus says, “Leave your life of sin.” Is Jesus now expecting her to be perfect? I believe Jesus was calling her into a new way of living, the Jesus way. What does the Jesus way of life look like to you?