John 8 Lesson

Mercy and Compassion

THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

Jesus showed mercy and compassion.

So should we!

One of the most powerful examples of the mercy and compassion of Jesus comes in the story of the adulterous woman that not only committed adultery but was caught in the very act! 

As you read her story below, pay attention to how everyone treated this woman, and then notice how Jesus treated her:

  1. The scribes and Pharisees were calling for blood!
  2. Jesus showed her mercy and compassion.  Then He encouraged her to sin no more.

  • The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:3-11.

Jesus did not distance Himself from the world, or from those that are trapped in sin. Instead, He showed them compassion, talked to them, and encouraged them to sin no more.  

The world would do well to follow the example of Jesus and look for opportunities to show compassion and not judgment.  

THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN

The woman that had been caught in the act of adultery had no shortage of people judging her.  

In fact, they were ready to stone her to death when Jesus stepped in and said:

  • “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

Nobody threw a stone because nobody was without sin.

Jesus asked the woman:

  • “Where are they? Did no one condemn you?” – John 8:10

She said:

Of course, Jesus already knew what her answer would be.   He was positioning Himself to be able to show her mercy in a way that she would never forget.   Jesus said to the woman:

  • “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” – John 8:11.

Can you imagine this sequence of events from the point of view of the woman? 

As you think about things from her perspective, consider these four points:

  1. The Bible says that the woman was not only caught in adultery but she was also caught in the act itself,
  2. Adultery under the Old Law was a sin punishable by death by stoning,
  3. As she prepares herself for a certain painful death, somebody steps in to help her,
  4. She rightly refers to Jesus as, “Lord,” and then He tells her that she is not condemned!

The compassion and forgiveness that Jesus demonstrated were life-changing for this woman!

Not only was she saved from a violent death, but she was also told thatthere is still time to get her soul right with God.  This must have given her hope at a time when she most needed it.  

Jesus will do the same thing for us if we let Him.

CONCLUSION

All of us know how good it feels to be forgiven when we have done something wrong. 

The bigger the sin, the more relief we feel when that sin is forgiven.

The story of the adulterous woman shows us the incredible forgiveness and compassion that Jesus has. As His disciples, we are to learn from His example and show the people in our lives the type of forgiveness and compassion that we hope Jesus will show us.

There is no place for judgment in the life of a Christian. That is not our role.

Our role is to show others the love and compassion of Jesus in all that we say and do.

During His Sermon on Mount, Jesus said:

  • “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” - Mathew 6:15.  

As we read the remainder of John's Gospel, the Pharisees will continue to challenge Jesus and seek to harm Him.  

Pay attention to the way that Jesus does not let their behavior affect what He says or does. 

That is one of the most important things that we can learn from the perfect example of Jesus!

When others are judgmental, we are to be compassionate.

When the world is hateful, we are to show our love.

We will end today’s study with the following scripture:

  • “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Mathew 5:14-16.

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

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Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Reply
Virtual Bible Study

Does anybody have a testimony on the subject of mercy and compassion that they would be willing to share?

Reply
Adrian
Virtual Bible Study

Today's study made me think of how God daily forgives me of my sins and shows me compassion. In my sinful times, He does not give me what I deserve. He doesn't make me pay the penalty for my sins. He only shows me his loving discipline, and then encourages me to keep pressing toward the mark. I am grateful that He forgives me of my sins, and also reassures me with a word of hope.

Reply
John
Adrian

Amen. Well said Adrian

Reply
John

Jesus didn't just say, "Don't worry about it" though. He forgave her and then told her to sin no more. I think that's the message. We are forgiven through Jesus' blood, but we are not to continue in our sin. Repent means to turn away. We need to change our sinful behavior to stay in God's graces.

Reply
Rick

It's important to show mercy and not judgement, because the way that we treat others with respect to mercy and judgment is the way we will be treated by God. At least that's how I interpret the scripture.

Reply
John

Forgiveness is such a powerful thing. I remember carrying around anger for many years and then one day being able to forgive this person. I felt so much better, and I was obeying God's commands. Ever since then, I have worked at being quick to forgive and slow to anger.

Reply
Kelly
John

The same thing happened to me, John. I was finally able to forgive someone and my life is so much better. I also try to forgive quickly now.

Reply
Tatenda
Kelly

Thank you so much for this .I also someone whom I worked for and we had a lot of misunderstandings. She called me after 5good years to make things and both of us felt new. Forgiveness is something we need to live a better life.

Reply
John B
Tatenda

Amen

Reply