Over the four weeks of this series we are going to be looking together at four extraordinary encounters that Jesus had with regular, ordinary people. Through them we are
going to find some answers to some of the big questions that we all ask: Do I matter and do I matter to God? Does anyone really see me? Does God see me? Am I too bad for God and can God work through me?
We have all done things we regret. We have all done things we shouldn’t or haven’t done things that we should. Sometimes we might feel that there is no way God could want to know us because of the bad stuff we have done. Is God just waiting to judge us or smite us? Am I too bad for God?
When we have these kinds of questions we can turn to the life of Jesus and because Jesus was and is God we can see into the heart, character and nature of God. When we see how Jesus treated people we can see how God feels about people. Today we are looking to the third of our Extraordinary Encounters to see find an answer to this question. You can read about that encounter in John’s account of Jesus’ life in the New Testament part of the Bible. We are looking at Chapter 8 verses 2 to 11 and you can read that by clicking here.
God’s not about condemnation he is about liberation, Jesus understood this. So he doesn’t condemn her, he finds the way to grace and mercy. He challenges her to modify her behaviour ‘sin no more’ but he doesn’t condemn her. Jesus challenges her to change, not to sin, not to enter in to destructive behaviours that ruin her life and the lives of others. But the order is the crucial thing – she encounters Jesus and is forgiven and set free by him and out of that should flow the desire to change.
To find out more about Next Steps at Andover Baptist Church check out the NextSteps web page.
Questions to reflect on in your small group or on your own:
- Do you ever feel that God couldn’t possibly want to know or love you? Why?
- Read the passage again, is there anything that really strikcs you?
- How do the Scribes and Pharisees feel about this woman?
- Why do you think Jesus was writing in the dust?
- How do you think the woman felt through all of this? Why did Jesus refuse to condemn her?
- Do you agree that the Pharisees were about behaving, then believing, then belonging? What difference would it make to us and our churches if we followed the Jesus model of belong, believe, behave?
- How can you commit to get involved before you comment, stoop down before you take a stance and serve before you speak?
Listen to the full talk on our podcast below…