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People in Glass Houses

Phrase: People who live in glass houses (shouldn’t throw stones).

John 8:1-11

while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. (John 8:1)

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. (John 8:2)

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, (John 8:3)

they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. (John 8:4)

Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” (John 8:5)

They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. (John 8:6)

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. (John 8:8)

When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. (John 8:9)

Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)

She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” (John 8:11)

Something I cannot get away from: being a finger pointer. Might be politics right now or something.

Pic – John 8 – (Did not appear in original text)

At first: “WHAT?!”

Atheists. In fact, atheists use this as a reason that the bible cannot be the word of God.

First off: I don’t have this picture of the bible as something that floated out of the sky and landed on my lap.

KJV – translated from more recent manuscripts.

The reason: In the first 2-3 centuries of Christianity, this story was so scandalous, the people left it out.

As Christianity spread and gets more institutionalized, we decide how we treat and discipline people who are caught in sin, this story becomes a bit of a thorn in our side.

Augustine – 420AD

“…certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from the manuscripts the Lord’s act of forgiveness toward the adulterous.”

This can happen even today: There’s parts of Jesus’s story that are so scandalous, that we just think “I’d rather not talk about that.”

As I’ve grown, I’m amazed by how rarely the teaching of Jesus come up in the typical Christian church.

Safe stories of Jesus. Tons of Paul. A little Old Testament, and a little Jesus.

The words of Jesus should be the most important of all the words.

Jesus is the only perfect picture of God.

Some issue in culture – we use OT stuff, we use Paul stuff. But it’s strange how the words of Jesus don’t seem to come up.

Well what did Jesus say?

  • “Seems like Jesus is contradicting the OT” – Go with Jesus.
  • “Seems like Paul is contradicting Jesus” – Go with Jesus.

Basic Story

Woman caught in adultery

Religious police bring her (but not him) out – stand before group – trap Jesus into saying she should be stoned “ACCORDING TO THE LAW”.

Jesus bends down and writes on the ground.

Classic: “What is Jesus doing?!”

Rub mud in eyes


“You guys got any food?”

“Let anyone without sin, cast 1st stone.”

Write on ground more

People start to leave

“Does anyone condemn you?” No

Neither do I.

Leave life of sin. End

At the beginning of John 8 – wanting to stone a woman, by the end of chapter 8, they’re wanting to stone Jesus.

Writing on the ground

We don’t know. – OPINION

This story found beginning of Matthew chapter 8

Go to chapter 7 – Festival of Tabernacles

1 of 7 major annual Feasts – Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23)

Spring / Fall

Spring feasts and fall feasts

  • The Spring Feasts were Passover, then Unleavened Bread, then First Fruits, then Pentecost.
  • The Fall Feasts were Trumpets, then Atonement, then Tabernacles.

Feast of tabernacles: last fall feast. – Feast before winter

Hoping – water come – crops – so in the spring – harvest – celebrate at the spring feasts

1000’s of people – Jerusalem

8 days of feasting – living in tents

Sacrifices – Singing – Special Rituals – Feasting

All about asking God for winter rains – crops

  • Religious leaders – teach – Significance of water
  • Water as rain – Water and thirst

Metaphor “spiritual longing”

All cultivated to 8th day

High priest – pitcher water & pitcher of wine

Pour it over the altar

Crowd chanted “Hosanna, Hosanna” (God save us). “God please bring us rain to save us from drought and famine.”

1000’s of people are together, living tents, partying.

What happens when people spend all day and night together and all get drunk?

End up in the wrong tent regretting their decision.

Not surprising religious leaders drag a woman out who is having sex with a guy who she’s not married to.

Drag her out, trying to trap Jesus

  • Don’t believe Him / Rejected
  • Rejected him

Want to expose him as a fraud

Challenge him from a passage from the law. From the OT.

Bend down and writes in the sand.


  • What have the Pharisees and religious leaders been doing for the past 8 days? Feasting
  • And what have they been doing at the feast? Teaching
  • And what have they been teaching about? Water.
  • And what passages would they have been teaching? Interesting.


One most common – Jeremiah

About dust – which is what you have when you don’t have water.

Jeremiah 17:13

“LORD, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.” (Jeremiah 17:13)

The scripture they were used to – turned in on them.

Without saying a word

You preach of water, and you’re missing the living water that’s right in front of you.

“Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust.”

Many people think he wrote the names of the religious leaders in the sand.

By rejecting me and judging this lady you are rejecting God.

The religious leaders HAD scripture to back up their point.

It’s so easy to get a big pile of scripture to back up your point, but that doesn’t prove anything.

People who know the Word of God, but have no connection with the ‘Spirit’ of God, have not found Him yet.

Jesus not only stands up for people who are innocent, he also stands up for people who are guilty.

Not saying, we don’t speak our mind, or stand up for issues we believe in.

I’m saying we have to be careful that we don’t move into a spirit of accusation. Because God doesn’t live there.

Have you ever noticed this, when public figures speak up super loudly about an issue, surprise, it’s their area of failing. We have to guard our hearts against accusation.

2 Words:


You might be saying, well yeah it’s bad to blame innocent people, but my enemies are guilty!!! It’s doesn’t matter. We’re not blamers.

What does Satan (hasatan) mean?

Devil (diablos) mean?

Well they mean the same thing. Accuser. Let’s give it a more modern twist, and say blamer.


“Holy Spirit” – “Advocate / Defender”

See Jesus – advocate.

Satan – Prosecution / Jesus – Defense

Which team do we wanna be on?

Woman caught in adultery John 8 –

  • Are we the people who throw the rocks?
  • Are we the people who stand between the accused and the accuser? – Where we see Jesus over and over and over.

Don’t want to confuse God and Satan.

There’s nothing more UNLIKE Jesus than finger pointing.

  • Satan – blame.
  • Jesus – defend.

Plank in eye

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (Matthew 7:1)

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2)

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:4)

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)

Politics – blame on each side.

That’s not likely to produce a life of walking with Jesus.

One of the thing that I care most about as far as how we’re seen by the world, is that we’re defenders not accusers.

(Prepare Communion)

Amazing: God’s grace is not only for the woman, it’s also for the men throwing rocks.

The message isn’t that these men are worse, it’s that they’re no better.


Our own weakness doesn’t change God.

Prodigal Son – He’s in the pigpen – he came to himself. (Came to his senses) I don’t believe sin changes God, it creates a fog that makes it hard to see Him.


For some of you: don’t identify with the men at all. But you identify with the woman.

You know what it feels like to feel inadequate, ashamed, outcast.

In – worst moments.

Any condemnation or accusation in your heart right now, towards yourself, that’s not from Him. That’s not who he is.

As – pass – spend – minute – opening heart.

As we pass communion, spend a minute – opening your heart – He sees you. He knows you, he loves you.

He wants you to open your heart up to him, and rest.

Beautiful rest – found :

Not trying to hide / cover yourself

Act – something other than exactly what you are.


There’s this beautiful rest that can be found in not trying to hide, not trying to cover yourself or act like you’re something other than exactly what you. Warts and all. He sees you.

So open up, receive Him, and rest.


Prayer: As guilty as I am, you have always loved me.

There has never been a moment, where you didn’t adore me.

I come to you exposed, but unashamed.

May your eyes continue to be opened – to the way of the cross.