“Judas hanged himself.” “Go and do likewise”

Judas Hangs Himself
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is what happens when we take scriptures out of context.

If we read the beginning of the Bible (Old Testament), with rules for sacrificing animals, but we don’t read the New Testament, we won’t understand that the sacrifices were pictures of what the Messiah was going to do. He was the sacrifice God gave us for our sin. There is no more need of animal sacrifices. We need to read the entire passage to get the whole picture.

Then there is the story about the woman caught in adultery. (John 8) The men wanted to stone her. Under the Law of Moses, this was the prescribed punishment.

Joh 8:3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in bed with a man who was not her husband. They forced her to stand in front of the people.
Joh 8:4  They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
Joh 8:5  The Law of Moses commands us to stone to death any such woman. What do you say we should do?”
Joh 8:6  They were saying this to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch him saying something wrong so that they could have a charge against him. But Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger.
Joh 8:7  The Jewish leaders continued to ask him their question. So he stood up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned should throw the first stone at her.”
Joh 8:8  Then Jesus stooped down again and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9  When they heard this, they began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left alone with the woman standing there in front of him.
Joh 8:10  He looked up again and said to her, “Where did they all go? Did no one judge you guilty?”

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn thee: (John 8:11)

Jesus told her, “I do not condemn you.”

But if you stop there, you are missing the point.

Jesus then told her, “Go and sin no more.”

The politically correct folks like to stop with Jesus saying “I don’t condemn you/I don’t judge you.” But that was not the end of the conversation. Yes, the men with the stones were sent away, aware of their own sins and shortcomings and guilt, and they lost the will to stone her. But she wasn’t quite off the hook. Jesus expected her to change her ways.

Political correctness of the modern day likes to run around saying, “Don’t Judge.” But Jesus also said, “Judge with Righteous Judgement.”  (John 7:24)

What if I were making a cake, and I pour it into the cake pan, and stop there? I don’t put the cake into the oven, and I let it sit on the counter top. It doesn’t become a cake, does it?

It’s important to read the whole context, and not just pick out parts that we like or don’t like!

We certainly don’t want to hang ourselves!

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6 thoughts on ““Judas hanged himself.” “Go and do likewise”

  1. Context is very important.

    Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother (or sister), ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

    Jesus, God-no sin, not the religious leaders or the others told her to go and sin no more.

    Jesus already pointed out they were not fit judges of her sin so how are we any more fit to judge?

    No one is claiming she didn’t sin. While I realize you don’t see yourself as the sinful woman, Jesus is not encouraging us to see ourselves as Jesus (God) in this story – we are called to recognize we are all sinners, drop our stones, walk away and trust God as the Judge.

    Jesus’ sacrifice restores us – grace not works. I don’t want to hang myself or anyone else.

  2. If Jesus forgave the adulterer without the need to have an atonement as the OT says, why do you say that Jesus should die for our sins so that we gain salvation and apply the OT law that for a sin to be forgiven, an atonement must be made?

    1. That’s a good question! Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it.
      Matthew 5:17 Don’t suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. –CEV translation

      Since God is sovereign and knows everything ahead of time, He chose Jesus before the world was created to be the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain in God’s eyes before the foundation of the world.
      He (Jesus) was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:20-21)
      God lives in Eternity; mankind lives in Time. God knows the Beginning and the End.

      God knew ahead of time that Jesus was going to be the sacrifice. Jesus had the power to forgive sins before He went to the cross because he was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

      There is a story in the Bible which shows Jesus forgiving sins before the cross:

      18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

      20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
      21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

      22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

      Luke 5:18-25

      If you are interested, there is a site called biblegateway.com which has the entire Bible on it, in different translations to get a fuller meaning of the passages. You can just put in a few words and it will find the passage for you.
      May God bless you.
      SueAnn

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