The Pharisees were religious leaders in Jesus’ day who took the law of Moses and followed it very strictly. John 8 tells the story of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery by some Pharisees. They brought the woman to Jesus, who was teaching in a crowd, and tried to trick Him by saying, “…this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
The Pharisees misunderstood the purpose of the law. They thought that by following the law, they would be able to master it, but that isn’t the purpose of the law at all; God designed the law to show us what controls us—sin—and why we need Jesus to overcome sin for us.
They also misunderstood who Jesus is, because they thought they could trap Him! Jesus responded, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” One by one, the Pharisees walked away. “Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”
John 8:12—“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Jesus is a Gatekeeper, who lets us find life in Him. Once we meet Jesus, our life is never the same. He is able to tell the woman to “Go and sin no more” because she met Jesus face-to-face. When we come to Jesus, we get to stop sinning! Many times in today’s church, we tell people to stop sinning and then come to Jesus. We should be inviting them to come to Jesus, so that they can stop sinning! In our human nature, we can’t clean ourselves up enough or simply stop sinning on our own… but Jesus came so that we can be set free from the bondage of sin! When we come to Jesus, we are given the power to stop sinning!
Matthew 7:17-18, 20 says, “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit…just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
Earlier in Matthew 7 Jesus describes a wide road and a narrow road. The wide road leads to hell, and many are on it. The road to life, He says, is very narrow and difficult, and few are on it. Those on the wide road include those who are running from God, people who are seeking but haven’t yet found Him, and people like the Pharisees who are trying to prove themselves to God by keeping the law. The narrow road, though, broke through from heaven to earth through Jesus Christ and leads to eternity in heaven with Him!
Matthew 7:21-24—“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
Jesus says that the only people who will enter into heaven will be those who do the will of the Father. What’s the Father’s will? That you would embrace the grace that is found in Christ!
Come to the Jesus of the Bible, no matter how bad you’ve been or how good you think you are. Put in some heavenly earplugs to stop the voice of the Accuser, the Devil, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and listen instead to the voice of Jesus who can cover your sins with His grace. Then turn away from your sins and walk in your new identity in Christ!
Watch week five of our summer series (iN) Here
For more information on how to get connected at any of our campuses please visit BarefootChurch.com