MATTHEW 7:5_first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…
There were some missing parts of John 8 in our September 19 devotional. Let’s read them now: “6 … But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.”
I can’t help but see some humor in this. Knowing their hearts and the hypocrisy of the entire incident, Jesus ignored them. Perhaps He hoped that if He ignored them they would go away. No such luck. Since they wouldn’t go away, Jesus addressed them, “7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’”
Talk about hitting the nail squarely on the head! Jesus sent conviction directly to their hard hearts.
Wouldn’t you love to know what He was writing – I would! Perhaps He was writing the man’s name. Maybe the man was even … a Pharisee! One thing is for certain, the Scribes and Pharisees cared nothing about the woman and intended for this to end in her death. She was only a pawn in their game to ensnare Jesus.
Regardless of what He wrote, it had enough convicting power to cause them to drop their stones and walk away.
The religious leaders blew their whole scheme. They were the ones humiliated before the crowd in the temple, not Jesus.
One last teaching about this lesson – tomorrow!
True Shepherd, Lead me to the place of freedom! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the True Shepherd—He defends me against evil!
MATTHEW 7:5_first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…
The Scribes and Pharisees could not see or perceive as Jesus did. What Jesus saw in the heart of the adulteress woman was a mote in comparison to the judgmental beam in the hearts of the religious leaders. It was Jesus they were judging, far more than the woman.
Jesus did not set a precedent for a Get Out of Jail Free card for adultery. Remember, Jesus is about finding freedom! Adultery is heavy bondage.
The Scribes and Pharisees were correct about their guilty verdict – adultery did carry a death sentence. However, there is a major flaw in their sanctimonious condemnation. AKA hypocrisy. Where was the man?
The law the Scribes and Pharisees were so anxious to have Jesus enforce is found in Leviticus 20:10 (KJV), “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” The only way she could be an adulteress was if she were married. If she was not, the man could consider her as a prostitute, or use her any way he wished. If this were all about law enforcement, seems that something is missing.
Instead of answering their accusations, Jesus began to play around in the sand.
We’re not through yet – keep following!
True God, Help me know You never want me in bondage—Free me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ does not make bondage easy – He frees!
MATTHEW 7:5_Thou hypocrite…
Jesus knew two things in the incident of the woman taken in adultery. He knew the condition of her heart now, and in her past. He knew the circumstances which led to this incident at this time. We can’t expect our earthly authorities to know all of this, but the Holy Spirit can reveal truth. Besides the fact that He knew her heart, Jesus had the ability to read her heart in her facial expressions and body language.
There was something else Jesus knew – the hearts of the Scribes and Pharisees who brought her before Him. He knew more about them than they knew about each other, or even about themselves. Remember John 8:5-6 (KJV), “ ‘Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such [adulterers] should be stoned: but what sayest thou?’ 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him …”
Jesus understood the real purpose for the Scribes and Pharisees bringing the woman. It had nothing to do with justice of the Law. It had nothing to do with adultery. The bottom line was to bring Jesus down. At the time this occurred, Jesus was in the temple teaching. The Pharisees’ goal was to cause Jesus to look ignorant before the multitude of followers who sat at His feet.
If Jesus were a true God-fearing Jew, He would uphold the Law. If He didn’t enforce the Law, then everyone in the temple that day would know Jesus was a heretic.
We’re not finished with this subject yet!
Father God, Help me become discerning of the hearts of others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows true hearts from false—He helps mine!
MATTHEW 7:4_and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Generally, you think you’re always right. When caught in the wrong you cry, “Foul!” or, “Stop judging me!” What’s in your heart? “It’s only wrong in your eyes. As long as I feel it’s right for me, then it’s right! Don’t judge me!”
There has to be a standard for right and wrong, otherwise life is total chaos. If you find God’s standards to be judgmental, the devil agrees—“Those standards really don’t apply to you. After all, Jesus didn’t judge the woman caught in adultery. He let her get by, why shouldn’t you?“
John 8 (KJV): “3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, ‘Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?’ 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him … 7 He [Jesus] … said unto them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’ … 10 When Jesus … saw none but the woman, he said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?’ 11 She said, ‘No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’”
Don’t miss tomorrow!
Holy Jesus, Help me build my life on Your standards. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ sets standards for life—He helps me follow them!
MATTHEW 6:12_And forgive us…
If Jesus taught no more than the first three words of this verse, He would have taught a vital part of prayer.
The Scribes and Pharisees saw life as a set of laws. They had the laws down pat, snug in their hip pockets (if they had hip pockets). They knew the rules, and kept them, why would they need forgiveness? That is, if all that mattered was rule keeping.
Jesus taught life as more about loving God and each other. He taught to give more than receive. This kind of life causes me to see my weaknesses and failures. That leads me to my knees to ask God’s forgiveness. Psalm 51 (KJV), “1 Have mercy upon me [King David], O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”
King David asks forgiveness for his sin. He also acknowledges something very important—his sin was primarily against God.
Any and all sins are against God.
Forgiving God, I know when I have wronged Your people I have wronged You. Forgive me and change me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ desires to forgive—He wants me to ask Him!