Busted and Embarrassed by Rick Burdette
At the end of their first date, a young man takes the girl back to her home. Emboldened by the night, he decides to try for that important first kiss. With an air of confidence, he leans with his hand against the wall and, smiling, he says to her, “Darling, how ‘bout a good night kiss?”
Embarrassed, she replies, “Oh, I couldn’t do that. My parents will see us!”
“Oh come on! Who’s gonna see us at this hour?”
“No, please. I would just die of embarrassment if someone saw us.”
“Oh come on, there’s nobody around, they’re all sleeping!”
“No way. It’s just too risky!”
“Oh please, please, I like you so much!”
“No. I like you too, but I just can’t!”
“Oh yes you can. Please?”
“No, no. I just can’t.”
Out of the blue, the porch light goes on and the girl’s sister shows up in her pajamas, hair disheveled. In a sleepy voice the sister says: “Dad says to go ahead and give him a kiss. Or I can do it. Or if need be, he’ll come down himself and do it. But for crying out loud tell him to hake his hand off the intercom button!”
Busted!!! And Embarrassed!!! Have you been there? Your hand caught in the cookie jar.
Sin is something we’d like to keep secretive, hidden. That’s why they’re called “Night Clubs” not “Day Clubs.” We lock the door so no one comes in…we go to another town where no one knows us. We want the place to be dark so no one sees us.
And why do we sin? Well, Hebrews 11:25 tells us…”we enjoy sins pleasure for a season.”
I hate pickled beets…they taste like purple pickled dirt to me. If you like them, good, but they make me physically sick. (And no I don’t want to try your aunt Gertrude’s special recipe to make them!) If sin appealed to me like “pickled beets” I’d be perfect. No problem saying NO!
But sin appeals to our nature like “red velvet cake” and fried chicken” does to my appetite. It tastes good, but then I know I shouldn’t have done that.
We enjoy the high at the party and if feels good temporarily…the problem comes when we wreck the car or get pulled over on the way home…We hide behind the locked door, but then someone walks in…We go to the other town where no one knows us, but run into our sister in law at the restaurant. And the pleasure is replaced with the harvest we’ve planted.
Billy Sunday he old evangelist said, “Most people live their lives sowing wild oats all week long, and then they go to church on Sunday to pray for crop failure.”
Paul tells the Galatians, and us “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked, we reap what we sow.” Whoever sows to please their flesh, with the flesh will reap destruction, whoever sows to please the (Holy) Spirit from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
Satan tries to convince us that sin doesn’t matter. We can hide it, pretend no one sees or hears. But all the while we’re leaning against the “spiritual” intercom and our heavenly Father knows exactly what we’re doing.”
Our story of brokenness this morning involves a woman who gets caught in the very art of adultery. There’s no uncertainty about what’s going on. In the middle of this sin…the door swings open, and the lights come on. Busted. It takes two for adultery to occur…it says a great deal about the accusers in this story…that only the woman is “held accountable.” Was it a set up…the man one of their own…I don’t know, but they were willing to crucify an innocent man, or two, so nothing is beyond their deceit.
She is brought to the temple courts. Where a crowd of people are gathered. She is made to stand before “these religious leaders,” the crowd, and Jesus himself. Are you with me? At her worst, in her sin guilt and shame she is made a spectacle.
I. SIN CAN QUICKLY REVEAL ACCUSERS AND SPECTATORS.
Sin will always be one of the greatest litmus tests when it comes to the human heart. Ours, and how we deal with the sins of others.
[I watched a 20/20 ID program about two football players from Stubenville, OH. They were two local heroes from “The Big Red” High School Football team. And one night after a preseason game they went to a party, in fact 3. A 16 year old girl from W.V., an honor student and soccer player showed up. She got drunk, then she got drunker, and before the night was over these 2 football players…raped her, and video taped the rape…but so did dozens of other kids…through the night there were over a hundred texts and pictures posted…“Drunken Whore.” “She looks dead LMAO.”
And a picture where they were carrying her from the car to a third house…where a mother kicked them out, but never called the police.
We live in an age where sin has become a spectator sport! These two young me were convicted, but so were others who just watched.]
Neither the woman in John 8 or the teenager from WV made great choices and that got them in horrible situations. But, you can always tell the spectator and the accuser when it come to someone else’s sin. One does nothing but watch and be entertained by it, and the other picks up rocks so the “sinner” can be punished.
The Pharisees tell Jesus, the law of Moses commands us to stone such women…now what do you say…They were using this question in order to have a basis for “accusing” him.
They’re using one person’s sin in order to have a reason to accuse Jesus of “sin.”
Sin dirties us. God’s not a stick in the mud, not wanting us to have any fun…Sin creates separation, it makes things dark, dead and lost. Satan, the murderer, the thief, the liar, loves what sin does. Because his ultimate purpose is to hurt God. He’s still at war with God.
And although our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but the Spiritual forces of wickedness in the Heavenly realm (Eph. 6:12). These dark forces sometimes use people as their pawns.
Why do the “paparazzi,” the photographers of celebrities, have jobs. The crowd loves to see Brittany Spears, Justin Bieber, and Lindsay Lohan fail. Spectators and acusers love to be entertained by other’s sins. The individual doesn’t mean anything…but there’s a quick motive for condemnation and punishment.
So Jesus gets out a spiritual mirror and turns it on the accusers and spectators. He teaches us.
II. HOLINESS WITHOUT HUMILITY IS WORTHLESS
Jesus bends down and writes in the dirt as the woman stands there, as the crowd looks on, and the accusers hold rocks.
“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.” I want to scream at John the Beloved…“What did He write?”
In fact He does this twice…and in between the two writings He says, “If any of you have no sin in your life, let that one throw the first stone.”
[Did he write specific sins the first time and then specific names next to their sins the 2nd time? Gossip – Joseph; Coveting – Isaac; Idolatry – Aaron. I don’t know…but whatever he wrote became a spiritual mirror to hardened, judgmental, condemning hearts.
Because those who heard him began to o away, one at a time, the older ones first and then the younger…until only Jesus is left. Why older first, probably because life teaches you about sin…and accusers.
The earthen jar of my life is waaaaay too cracked for me to start examining all your flaws. I need to take care of the log in my eye before I start focusing on the speck of sawdust in yours.
* HOLINESS IS FOCUSING ON HOW MY FOOTSTEPS ARE FOLLOWING JESUS, NOT ON WHETHER THEY FOLLOW HIM BETTER THAN YOURS!
The only time Jesus dealt harshly with sin while here on earth was with the accusers. Those who thought they didn’t really need a Messiah like Jesus…Listen to what he said to them:
MATTHEW 23:1-7, 23-28
Pursuing holiness without humility will make you an accuser, a condemner and a spectator of sin. It will lead to a heart that picks up rocks and a tongue twice as hard and evil, instead of a heart that wants people to experience redemption, forgiveness and grace.
Jesus’ goal was always redemption. Even when he says, “Neither do I condemn you…now go leave your life of sin…He’s not minimizing sin…sin will require His death on a Roman cross is payment, But He is speaking life…instead of death.
[This woman in John 8 is the picture of shame and sin, guilt and condemnation hang on her like an anchor on a drowning man. She seems to look up when Jesus says, “where are your condemners?” Are there any here, and she says “No one sir.” By the way Jesus isn’t holding a rock…and He’s the only one who had no sin!
What if I took a picture of you at your worst. Right after you’ve put out manure or mulch, or better yet I wake you up at 4 AM, snap a picture of your sleep haired, drooling self and then post it on Facebook with you tagged on it.
Is that you? Yeah it’s you!!! at your worst. It’s not how you’d want everyone to see you for always and forever. It’s you at your ugliest.
Forgiveness allows for that ugly picture to be torn up…deleted. It sets people free. It doesn’t mean you forget the pain and hurt if the person has attacked or accused you, but it does in Christ allow you, once again, to pursue the image, the picture for which you’ve been created…God’s image. And it allows for them to pursue that image as well.]
Real forgiveness involves a life change.
III. REAL FORGIVENESS INVOLVES A LIFE CHANGE
As the woman looks around and discovers all her accusers have left, Jesus looks at her and says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
He doesn’t say, “Your sins are forgiven, like he does something. Why, because she’s not standing in front of Him because of faith. She’s been busted.
And repentance is always about more than being sorry you got caught. Repentance is a godly sorrow that changes your heart and life.
Remember those 2 football players from Stuberville OH…convicted of rape and video taping it…One of the boys made a statement almost as if it had been written and rehearsed. He apologized for videoing the incident, not the incident…but the other boy…got up, walked over to the family of the girl and poured out his heart…begged for their forgiveness. He wept uncontrollably…this is after the sentencing. (It would not change the punishment). And the girl’s mother got up, came around the bar, wrapped her arms around this young man and wept with him saying, “You’re forgiven, you’re forgiven.”]
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Cor. 7:10)
True repentance never has a chip on it’s shoulder or justifications in it’s apology!
This woman’s life after this day would prove whether she’d left her life of sin. Do you know how you’d know?
It’s whether she continued to commit adultery…and to live like she had before meeting Jesus.
If the jailhouse confession doesn’t last after you’re released from jail – it’s not really conversion is it?
That doesn’t mean you will leave the meeting place of conversion and walk in perfection until you die or Jesus returns. In fact what it means is you no longer walk in the same direction, and your awareness of sin and it’s power are considered differently. Holy isn’t the Spirit’s first name…it’s His work…If He live in you and you live in the realm of the Spirit instead of the realm of the flesh…You’re led by Him, and those led by Him according to Romans 8 are children of God.
[How does God love people? And how much? Many present God as a “Drill Sergeant” ready to straighten out new recruits…or a strict teacher who want us only to learn valuable lessons…but that’s not the picture Jesus paints…His picture is an elderly Father, who has tucked his garments into his belt, and is running…with open arms to receive back a wayward child.
A grandfather found his grandson, jumping up and down in his playpen, crying at the top of his voice. When Johnnie saw his grandfather, he reached up his little chubby hands and said, “out, Gramp, out.”
It was only natural for Grandfather to reach down to lift the little fellow out of his predicament; but as he did, the mother of the child stepped up and said, “No, Johnnie, you are being punished, so you must stay in.”
The grandfather was at a loss to know what to do. The child’s tears and chubby hands reached deep into his heart, but the mother’s firmness in correcting her son for misbehavior must not be lightly taken. Here was a problem of love versus law, but love found a way. The grandfather could not take the youngster out of the playpen, so he crawled in with him.
God loved us so much He crawled in with us!]