Women at the Well
Finding Our Worth in Jesus – Session 2
READ JOHN 8:1-11
Notes from Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman taken from “The Life Application Study Bible, NLT” and the notes in italic are my thoughts to you.
8:3-6 The Jewish leaders had already disregarded the law by arresting the woman without the man. The law required both parties to adultery be stoned (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22). The leaders were using the woman as a trap so they could trick Jesus. If Jesus said the woman should not be stoned, they would accuse him of violating Moses’ law. If he urged them to execute her, they would report him to the Romans, who did not permit the Jews to carry out their own executions (18:31).
8:7 This is a significant statement about judging others and being judged by others. Because Jesus upheld the legal penalty for adultery, stoning, he could not be accused of being against the law. But by saying that only a sinless person could throw the first stone, he highlighted the importance of compassion and forgiveness. When we are caught in sin, how quickly do others judge us? How often do we let the condemnation of others define our self worth? Only God has the power to Judge and only God can define our worth.
8:11 Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. He told her to leave the life of sin. Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life, but confession and repentance mean a change of heart. With God’s help we can accept Christi’s forgiveness and stop our wrongdoing.
Every single one of us has a big, smelly, moldy bag of trash. We carry it around, we try to conceal it, we are ashamed of it and we try to hide it. We know if we get caught we would be condemned, judged. The longer we carry it, the smellier it gets. We become heavily burdened, believing this big smelly moldy bag of trash is the very definition of who we are. As we identify with it, the shame and guilt causes us to continue to add to it.
Now it’s gotten so big, others start to take notice. We know other people know, making us more afraid and ashamed. We’ve already become one with it, now others treat us as if we are the bag of trash. The running script is “I must only be worth as much as this trash, because that’s how I am treated.”
The adulterous woman knew this pain, the woman at the well knew this pain. We keep sinning because we don’t know any other way out of it. The sin has already become part of who we are. We’ve already identified with it and tested our self-worth against it.
IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHY IS THIS SUCH A VICIOUS CYCLE?
WHAT SINS ARE IN YOUR BIG SMELLY BAG?
WHICH SINS DO YOU KEEP ADDING TO THE BAG, EVEN THOUGH YOU DESPERATELY DON’T WANT TO?
Lay your bag aside, and let’s turn our attention to Jesus for a moment. Please take a moment to pray that Jesus illuminate your minds and fill your hearts with His truth.
In the story of the adulterous woman, Jesus cleared the room. He stood before the woman, told her to sin no more, then He died for her.
The woman at the well was met by Him in the middle of the day, Jesus was specific to plan his trip to meet her. He told her to sin no more, then He died for her.
Jesus died for you. God made a son, a perfect sinless son. From the beginning of Adam and Eve when our sin separated us from him, God has only communicated with us through prophets. God so desired a relationship with us, he sacrificed his son Jesus. Jesus was beaten and bled to death because he was the only worthy sacrifice for our sins and our separation. In the Old Testament, people sinned then they sacrificed a lamb to tell God they were sorry. But then they sinned again and made another sacrifice a year later. Jesus is our lamb, but instead of dying every year, he only had to do it once.
Isn’t it incredible to imagine a man dying for us, when we could hardly get him to cross the room to give a hug, a smile, a kiss, a compliment?
Not only did he die for us, he’s offering a trade. He will give us His righteousness for our sin.
“For God made Christ who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, SO THAT we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
The study notes in my Life Application Bible say this:
“When I TRUST in Christ, I make an exchange. He takes my sin and makes me right with God. My sin was laid on Christ at his crucifixion. His righteousness is given to me at my conversion. In the world, bartering only works when two people exchange good of relatively equal value, but God offers to trade his righteousness for my sin- something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless.”
Pick up your big smelly bag of sin and hand it over to him. He will now present you with the precious gift of grace, mercy and righteousness. Imagine it’s a beautiful, shining diamond ring. A marriage proposal if you will, in His own words:
“I will make you my wife forever,
Showing you righteousness and justice,
Unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine
And you will finally know me as the Lord.” Hosea 2:19,20
We have no more reasons to sin. There’s no more shame, hiding, condemnation in Jesus. We’ve handed it over and received the ring. Once this exchange happens, it’s done. Any sin we imagine we are carrying is just that – our imagination.
“Go and sin no more.” Step on the path of righteousness and follow God. Let’s continue our journey to exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.
GO HOME AND MEDITATE ON THIS TRUTH. LET IT SOAK INTO THE FIBER OF YOUR BEING. LET GOD CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR WORTH.
God pursues you with a fierce passion. He is unfailing love (1 Cor. 13: 4-8), faithful, compassionate. God will change the way you think, he will change your desires. Walk with him, talk with him, and receive his love!!