Refresh Small Group Series
Week 2: John 8:2-11
Read John 8:2-11 (First Nations Version)
Jesus Advocates for a Vulnerable Woman
2 Early in the morning at the sunrise, he returned again to the sacred lodge. All the people began to gather around him, so he sat down and once again began to teach and tell his stories. [Across the plaza a cloud of dust was rising from a group of people who were walking toward Creator Sets Free (Jesus) as he was teaching. They were forcefully dragging a woman along with them. He could see her tears and the look of terror on her face.] 3 It was the scroll keepers and the Separated Ones (Pharisees).
They brought the woman to Creator Sets Free (Jesus) and forced her down on the ground in front of him and all the people. 4 “Wisdomkeeper,” they said, “we found this woman in the very act of being unfaithful to her husband. 5 Drawn from the Water (Moses) instructed us in the law to throw stones at her until she dies. What do you have to say about this?”
6 They were putting him to a test, so they could have a way to accuse him. [The crowd was silent and waited to see what he would say, but he said nothing.] He bent over and with his finger wrote something in the dirt. When he did not answer right away, the Separated Ones (Pharisees) became angry and kept questioning him.
7 Creator Sets Free (Jesus) looked up at them and said, “The one who has done no wrong should be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 He then bent over and again began to write in the dirt with his finger.
9 When they heard his words, they all stood there silently. Then, beginning with the elders, one at a time they dropped their stones and walked away. Soon all were gone except for Creator Sets Free (Jesus) and the woman.
10 He stood up and looked at her. “Honored woman,” he said. “Where are the ones who were accusing you? Is there no one who finds fault with you?”
11 The woman looked up timidly into his eyes and said, “No one, Wisdomkeeper.”
“Then I also find no fault with you,” he said to her. “You may go your way, but take care not to return to this broken path you have been walking.”
- Describe the past few hours of this woman’s life. What might she be thinking and feeling at this point?
- What is going on for the mob? What is their goal?
- What do you like about how Jesus handles this crazy scene? Describe the impact that verse 7 has on the crowd. Why?
Take a Next Step
In the video, we see that when we turn our backs on Creator, we turn on one another and violence is the result. In this story, we see this playing out between the mob and the woman.
Sometimes we relate to the woman in this story, and sometimes we relate to the mob. Jesus wants to love you like he loves this woman. Think of an area in your life where you want to hear Jesus say to you, “Then neither do I condemn you…”
Please try both of these spiritual practices together in your group:
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE #1 - Prayer
Each of us is beautiful in the eyes of God, but sometimes we are critical of ourselves and others. Our souls carry these burdens. Pick one of these emotions that you have experienced most this week. We are going to invite God into our souls and feelings. • Anger • Sadness • Loneliness • Anxiety • Numbness • Other
Pray this prayer: Jesus, I have been feeling (emotion). Please speak to me about this right now (pause). Fill me with your love. Share with the group which one you picked and how you felt during prayer.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE #2 - Reflection
Sometimes we are more like the mob. It is easy to want to throw the first stone at those who irritate us, just as the crowd sought to condemn the woman in the passage.
Who do we condemn with our words or actions?
It takes courage to put down our rocks and admit that we too are not sin-free. We are all a work in progress, and we need Jesus to daily open our eyes to our selfishness. When we do that, he can transform our criticalness into compassion. This week, let’s pay attention to our internal monologue. Who do you look down on?