We live in a culture with a fading biblical memory. People willingly embrace the idea that God is lovingbut are shocked when He shows up and passed judgment. On one hand it is true that Jesus didn't turn
people away but on the other He also didn’t condone sinful behavior. When people are asked to de-
scribe Jesus they quickly go to the point that He ate with tax collectors, spoke with women of ill repute,and actually warned against being judgmental. Wanting to be cool and modern, they eagerly jump tothe conclusion that Jesus was cool and modern guy too: He was a live-and-let-live dude who would'vehated prudes and prigs and said stuff like "what people do with their personal lives is no one else'sbusiness" and "everyone should feel free to choose their own lifestyle." In fact, they say, He'd havepalled around with plenty of gay folk, to say nothing of straight couples living together out of wedlock.And surely He'd never have been more than "personally opposed" to abortion, never dreaming of "imposing His personal beliefs on anyone else."Is this the truth? Not even close. The actual Jesus of the Bible did relate to sinners; actually, in thisworld, he never related to anyone else. But He never enabled people in their sin; He confronted themwith their sin.When He met those who'd been sexually immoral, He made them face up to offenses they'd ratherhave buried (the woman at the well; John 4:16-18) and told them to "sin no more" (the woman caughtin adultery; John 8:3-11)
and He reminded everyone that lust is a sin in and of itself (the Sermon onthe Mount; Matthew 5:28). When he met those in the infamously corrupt field of tax collecting, Hemoved them through His teachings to confess their corruption and make amends (Zacchaeus; Luke19:1-10). And when He warned against being judgmental (Matthew 7:1-5), He directed people not toignore others' immorality but to repent of their own
for He had come "not to abolish" the Law, but"to fulfill" it (Matthew 5:17).
1. Have you ever been kept after school? Interrogated by the police? Caught in the wrong place?Were you guilty or acquitted?Read John 82. How is the situation in vv. 1-11 a trap for Jesus? How does He react to the trap?3. How would the woman just caught in adultery have felt?
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the maverick messiah IMMORAL