responding to foolish questions

©2020 dan bulkley | ask@lifefellowship.org

today’s key passage:

john 8:1-11

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

a closer look: john 8:4

john 8:4

4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.

my notes:

cross references

zechariah 3:1

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.

revelation 12:10

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,

and the authority of his Christ.

For the accuser of our brothers,

who accuses them before our God day and night,

has been hurled down.

a closer look: john 8:5

john 8:5

In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

my notes:

cross references

deuteronomy 22:22-27

If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death–the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor, 27 for the man found the girl out in the country, and though the betrothed girl screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

leviticus 20:10

“ ‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

a closer look: john 8:6a

john 8:6a

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him...

cross references

luke 20:20

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.

daniel 6:3-5

Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

psalm 38:12

Those who seek my life set their traps,

those who would harm me talk of my ruin;

all day long they plot deception.

psalm 41:5-6

My enemies say of me in malice,

“When will he die and his name perish?”

6 Whenever one comes to see me,

he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;

then he goes out and spreads it abroad.

my notes:

ezekiel 14:4-5

Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the Lord will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’

proverbs 27:3

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,

but provocation by a fool is heavier than both

a closer look: john 8:6b

john 8:6b

....But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

cross references

james 1:19

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

exodus 31:18

When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

deuteronomy 9:10

The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.

exodus 23:1-2

“Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.

2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd

deuteronomy 19:16-21

If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

my notes:

a closer look: john 8:8

john 8:8

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

cross references

colossians 4:5-6

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

proverbs 26:4-5

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,

or you will be like him yourself.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly,

or he will be wise in his own eyes.

psalm 119:41-43

May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord,

your salvation according to your promise;

42 then I will answer the one who taunts me,

for I trust in your word.

43 Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth,

for I have put my hope in your laws.

matthew 7:6

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

proverbs 25:15

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,

and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

daniel 2:14

When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.

ecclesiastes 8:1-6

Who is like the wise man?

Who knows the explanation of things?

Wisdom brightens a man’s face

and changes its hard appearance.

2 Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God.3 Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. 4 Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,

and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,

though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.

my notes:

ii timothy 2:23-26

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

my notes: