Archive for the ‘court’ Tag

Legalism and Justice [Part 3]   Leave a comment

hqdefault

In Part 1 and Part 2 of “Legalism and Justice”, we’ve seen what are some forms of legalism and what are the characteristics of the legalists. We’ve also read how harshly Jesus dealt with the legalists(Pharisees) and how Jesus used scripture to correct the wrong interpretation of verses used to support legalism. The devil has been twisting the scripture in an attempt to make Jesus fall (Mat 4) and this is what he still does through the legalists. We may discern forms of legalism when the motives behind the teachings are not Love, Mercy, Faithfulness and Justice. Discipline in the church is not a form of legalism when love is the motive.  God Himself discipline the one he loves (Heb. 12:10). However, when love is not the motive behind discipline then we may find ourselves participating in ‘stoning the adulterous woman’.

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 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!” John 8:3-9

It would be unfair to the victim of the adultery(the spouse) not to receive justice. If this case was brought in our modern court with Moses law to be applied and you were to judge, what would you do?

The Greek words used in this phrase suggest the following interpretation  “Let the one among you who has never sinned similarly throw the first stone!

I would prefer not to participate in the judgment of a case in which I had myself made a similar offense. If I condemn others of an offense that I did myself but no one caught me yet, then I’m condemning myself along and acting like an hypocrite. If we consider for instance Jesus’ teachings about lust and adultery very few religious people would find themselves eligible to pass on a judgment. I spoke several times badly of liars without realizing that I have in the past lied.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mat. 5:28

What did Jesus say about judging others?

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Mat. 7

Jesus in this verse is warning against judging others. It is not prohibited to judge others but it holds great responsibility. It is sinners like us who pronounce judgments in courts. Court judges simply apply what the law of the country say and they are themselves subject to be judged by others should they commit a similar offense. No one is above the law. If holiness was the prerequisite to judge, then the notorious criminals, drug traffickers and murderers would not be put to jail. The statement let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone” is a great reminder that the Holy One of heaven is looking down on us and that our judgement is not flawless since we’re ourselves sinners and thus offenders of that same system in a way or another.

Jesus made a call to the guilty conscience  of the Pharisees and this made all of them uneasy since it appears that all those people who brought this woman were not beyond reproach. The oldest left first as he probably was the greatest offender.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest” John 8:9

I guess that if there was indeed a man among the mob who never committed adultery, then he would be right to execute the stoning but there was none left! How hypocrite can religious people be! Only Jesus was left with that woman for only Him never committed such sin and only him could stone that woman. Remember that each time you judge someone, God is watching.

The world dictionary defines hypocrisy as “the sin of pretending to virtue or goodness“. It is pretending to be someone you’re not or having some qualities what you do not have. It is imitating like an actor whose virtue and goodness are seen only on stage but behind stage – at home he is a vilain. Hypocrisy consists of deceit, dissimulation and above all it is the absence of integrity for integrity means being one (in Mathematics integer), consistent and coherent.  So this was how Jesus qualified the Pharisees. In the scene of the adulterous woman, He unmasked their role and hypocrisy.

 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.”

The accusers now dispersed, Jesus now recommends the woman to leave behind this sinful life and live in the righteous path.

 

Posted March 26, 2019 by Cedric in My writings (English)

Tagged with , , , , ,

Jesus, the divine appointed Advocate[2]   Leave a comment

The evil Accuser and the Divine Advocate

The evil Accuser and the Divine Advocate

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” 1 John 2:1-2

  • Jesus both a righteous Judge and Advocate

There’re different judiciary bodies where one can call to hear his case if he deems that he did not get a fair trial or judgment. If one has been judged guilty by the highest instance of the judiciary on earth, that person is an offender of the law. However, that same person can be found not guilty in God’s court despite his many crimes if he only believes in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin.

The limitation of each court is that the judge or magistrate is unable to forgive offense for the offense has not been made against him but against the law. The judge’s role is to only apply rigorously and righteously the law, not to forgive offense.

However, Jesus is able to declare man not guilty because each sin made is a direct offense against Him(Mat. 9:6). So who will condemn His disciples? It is God who forgives and justifies.

When the woman caught in adultery was brought at Jesus feet to be stoned. The world and the law of Moses were against her. If Jesus was not God and did not wisely intervene, this woman would have died. Jesus pushed away the accusers and forgave that woman of her sins: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 8:9-11

“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” Rom. 8:33-34

The book of revelation(20:13) states that the dead will be judged according to their deeds. People will need to give an account of every idle word they spoke(Mat. 12:36) and what they did. Without Jesus, they will need to face alone what has been recorded in the books.

In the parable of the vineyard, we see Jesus as a righteous judge who can show mercy as he pleased even if it seemed unfair to others. When others will protest at God’s act of mercy, He will stand firm to confirm His right to show grace.

  • Jesus knows how to perfectly defend His followers against the devil’s accusation

The Pharisees looked for many opportunities to trap Jesus and his disciples but Jesus always stood as advocate of His followers.

For example, the Pharisees were indignant that the disciples did not follow traditions and religious ordinances. The disciples did not fast(Mat. 9:14), did not wash their hands (Mat 15:2) and harvested on the sabbath day. Jesus immediately stood as a defender of his disciples. Jesus knows the devil’s tactics and when the pharisees came to trap Him regarding Caesar’s tax, he responded wonderfully (Mat 22:18). When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting our devils by Satan(Mat. 12:24), he asked a question which resembles this: “Your disciples also cast out evil spirit, so does it come from God or not? If it can come only from God, then it is impossible for someone to cast out devil by Satan’s power”

The only time the Great Divine Advocate did not respond to accusations was when he took our sins. Who would not have protested against an injustice if He was about to lose His life for crimes he did not do?

But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.” Mat. 27:12

He was judged guilty by the judiciary of this earth but elevated to the highest place of honor by the Holy One of Heaven (Phil. 2:9).

Posted November 1, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

Tagged with , , , , , ,

It’s Him who sets the rules   Leave a comment

Laws and Rules

Laws and Rules


I once shared a new way of playing dominoes with some friends. I did not tell them that I invented this new way of playing and just told them the rules. Eventually, as soon as they started to develop new strategies, they started to beat me and it’s now very difficult to beat them.

This remembers me the UK. It was the British who set the rules for football but that does not make them superior since they also have to abide to these rules(When was the last time they won the world cup?). If the rule is not the same for everyone, we say that it is not a fair game.

We are governed by laws and rules and without them our society would be in absolute chaos within several days.
There’re referees to take decisions on a pitch when rules are not respected and judges to apply the law when it has been violated. It’s not because the judge has the power to apply the law that it means that he is above it. Supreme laws have to be obeyed by everyone. Depending on the gravity of the violation of the rules, a referee can give a warning, a yellow or red card. It’s the same for judges, the sentence they give can be from a small fine to life imprisonment.

Though the laws of nature say that a denser body should sink in less dense fluid, we see Jesus walking on the waters. We see Jesus multiplying bread twice for at least 3000/5000 hungry people in the wilderness. He gave sight to a man born blind and gave life back to dead Lazarus. How can science explain that? Everyone knew that Lazarus was dead and buried for several days. The bellies of these thousands were not filled with air and stones. I don’t think a bakery could have secretly produced so many breads. I guess that taking from the sea at least 5000 fish by several fishermen is impossible. These thousands people did not have an illusion I guess.

How can science explain all these?

God does what He wants, where He wants and how He wants. Why is it that people have to believe in Jesus in order to be saved? Because it’s God’s way of saving mankind. It’s Him who sets the rules. We are the sinners and He is the One who decides what should be done to sinners. There’s no deal. We can’t tell God to send us to a so-called “purgatory” to allow us to pay for our transgressions. No bargaining with Him! Sinners go to hell. Period. But sinners who follow the rule i.e. repent and put their trust in Jesus don’t go to hell. As heaven is real, so hell is.

While playing dominoes with my friends, a friend pointed out to me that a rule was not fair so we had to adjust this rule.

A lie was a sin thousand years ago and so it is now. God’s laws are perfectly just, no need to readjust. God does what He wants. “Our God is in heaven he does whatever pleases him” Ps 115.
Why is it that we inherit Adam’s sinful nature? Simply because it’s God who set the rules.

For 33 years God lived under rules He Himself set. He was tired, had to sleep and was hungry. He was a human, He wept when He was sad. He obeyed the rules of the human nature. In agony He was in Gethsemane. He suffered when beaten and eventually died as any human would.

Perfect He was on earth, no lies or no pride in His heart. The only human being who did not transgress all rules set by God is the Messiah. He’s the One who sits on the throne and all authorities have Him as supreme Judge whether they like/know it or not. One day Jesus will come to judge His creation. The only way to be saved is Jesus Christ, no other rule and no other options.

The Supreme Judge

The Supreme Judge

Posted August 14, 2011 by Cedric in Thought-provoking

Tagged with , , , , ,