We just discussed how the scribes and Pharisees decided to entrap Jesus in His own words. Jesus, knowing the heart of humanity, was not fooled by them. In this lesson, we will discuss how Jesus answers their question.
The religious leaders sought to tempt Jesus. There are two words for “tempt.”
–Dokimazo=This means “to prove someone is good or acceptable.” This word is never used of Satan. He never wants God’s approval. It is used in the verses listed below.
James 1:3 (NASB)
(3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
–Peirazo=This word means “to tempt with the intention of proving one has been evil or unapproved or to make someone evil; to entangle in sin.” This word is used here in John 8. It is used in the verses listed below.
1 Peter 1:7 (NASB)
(7) so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
The word “tempted” is from peirazo.
Matthew 4:1 (NASB)
(1) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
1 Thessalonians 3:5 (NASB)
(5) For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
Notice Jesus’ response. This was not the reaction that the scribes and Pharisees expected. He wrote on the ground, and this is the only time we see Jesus write. The other thing written by the finger of God was the Ten Commandments. Note Exodus 31:18.
When Jesus wrote on the ground, the religious leaders thought that Jesus might have been stalling or working on an answer. They continued to press Jesus for an answer. That is the nature of evil. It does not give up. It is especially persistent when it comes to temptation. Satan had tempted the Lord for 40 days. Jesus’ response to these men shocked them. “He that is without sin among you, let him be the first one to throw a stone at her.” What was Jesus saying? In order to judge somebody, you have to be without sin yourself. I am reminded of Matthew 7:1-3. This is the last chapter in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. These verses deal with judging somebody else, and you will be judged in the same manner. Could they say they were so perfect that they could stand in judgment against this woman? I do not think so. Once again, Jesus shows us how to stand in victory over our accusers.
Our next lesson will pick up in verse 7 of this chapter.