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Daily Devotion

Appraisal By Jesus

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READ:

John 8:1-9

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 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. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 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. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Matthew 23:25-28

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

EXHORTATION:

T

he Lord did not bother to answer the plotters. Instead He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Twice it is recorded that Jesus stooped and wrote on the ground (vv.6, 8). It may imply that he was disinterested to give a direct answer to their demand. Jesus was not their judge. It was not required of Him to give a verdict on their behalf. (Perhaps, as one suggests, He was naming the sins of the onlookers. However, we should refrain from dogmatism in deciding exactly what Jesus wrote on the ground as the narrator had not included it.)

Then rising up He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her” (v.7). He probably meant the same sin of unchastity, either by deed, look, or thought (cf. Matt 5:28). Then He stooped down and continued to write.

Jesus raised the issue at hand from legal to spiritual ground. He did not come to be a lawyer or judge for legal matters of the people. He came to deal with the sins of the people. Therefore, He discussed not the points of law, but their sinfulness in relation to God. He did not mean that only sinless persons could perform judicial acts, for this would make all human courts impossible. But as John Calvin said: “He reproves hypocrites, who gently flatter themselves and their own vices, but are excessively severe and even savage judges of others... Every man should begin by interrogating his own conscience and being both witness and judge against himself before he comes to others.”

The emphasis of His words to the Jews was that they must be most concerned about their own individual sanctity and not just that of others around them. John reminds us in his epistle, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God” (1 Jn 3:20–21).

THOUGHT:

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged” (Matt 7:2).

PRAYER:

May I have the boldness of genuine faith to obey You always.