Haters (week 1)

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SCRIPTURE

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of

them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more” (John 8:3-11 NLT).

CONTEXT OF SCRIPTURE

In this situation we see Jesus both uphold the Law of Mosesand offer grace. By giving the Pharisees permission to stone the woman caught in adultery (if they were without sin), Jesus isn’t discounting the woman’s sin. Despite her sin though, Jesus didn’t judge her. Instead, He offered her grace. Today, like the Pharisees, many of us still carry rocks. In other words, we’re ready to pass judgment on anyone we think deserves it. In those moments—in the moments we really want to lob that comment, cutting remark, gossip, or insult—Jesus encourages us to drop the rock and reconsider.

TEACHING OUTLINE

Does anybody here watch reality TV? Even if you don’t, it’s almost unavoidable, right?

There’s always a hater!

Being a hater really comes down to one thing: judging.

Most of us recognize that we have some flaws, but hating on others allows us to shift the spotlight toward their flaws.

Sometimes God-followers love to compare themselves with others, especially people who aren’t making great decisions.

Because here are some things you already know to be true: 1) No one uses the word hater a compliment. 2) No one trusts a hater. 3) No one likes being hated on.

We’re going to look at a story in the Bible featuring some members of the Haters Hall Of Fame.

John was a big fan of Jesus, but there were plenty of others who had a bone to pick with Him.

The Pharisees prided themselves in following these rules AND in catching people who weren’t. It was as if Jesus valued the humanity of a person over the importance of keeping a rule.

So during a time when Jesus was publically teaching, the Pharisees showed up to test Jesus.

So what did Jesus say? Nothing. I love how strange this is. Even more weird, John doesn’t tell us what Jesus was writing.

This was a total mic drop moment. Because Jesus put the question back on the Pharisees.
Some people think the mysterious writing Jesus did on the ground had something to do with the actual sins of the Pharisees.

What this woman did was wrong. But Jesus didn’t judge her. He offered something else: grace.

Today, like the Pharisees, we still carry rocks, ready to lob at anyone we judge worthy of it.

Drop the rock.

So, here are three ways we can all begin to drop the rock: 1) Stop measuring sin and deciding which sins are worse than others. 2) See the story. 3) Focus on you.

The sooner you learn to show grace to yourself for your past mistakes, the sooner you’ll be able to extend that same grace to others.

So, this week, I want you think of ways you can drop the rock in your own life.