Once you’ve truly met Jesus, you go “all in” – and that means being willing to share your grid with others. But what happens when those people reject God? How do you respond when you are met with anger, arguments, or apathy? Followers of Jesus must learn to go out into the world with their biblical convictions without becoming a coward – afraid to speak truth – or a jerk – doing it without love.
In John 8, Jesus modeled the perfect combination of truth and love when he encountered a woman who was caught in adultery. Some religious guys tried to intimidate the crowd with their arrogant worldview – but Jesus handled them brilliantly. His four responses are a model for every Christian who is going out into the real world with a biblical grid.
First, Jesus paused
When Jesus was confronted with an opposing worldview, he didn’t jump to conclusions and start pointing fingers. The religious leaders wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery. But Jesus simply paused. That’s a good example for us today when we are put in that situation.
John 8:6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.
We don’t know what Jesus wrote in the dust. Maybe he was writing out a prayer to God. Maybe he was just doodling. But whatever he was doing, he was certainly giving himself time to think carefully about his response.
When you’re faced with an opposing worldview, take it slowly. Don’t react in anger or ignorance. Stop, pray, and prepare. And be confident that God’s opinion is always right.
Second, Jesus showed courage
Jesus knew that the angry religious men had their own sin to deal with, and he wanted them to be aware of it. So that was his next step.
John 8:7-8 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!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
Notice that when Jesus responded, he didn’t try to control the Pharisees’ actions, he didn’t panic and tell all of them to put down their stones immediately; he didn’t attempt to control the situation at all! His response caused every person to think about their own sinfulness, and question whether they were worthy to throw a stone. After he spoke, he stooped to write in the dust again, and gave the religious men the freedom to throw their stones, or walk away. He trusted in God to show them that they were unworthy to cast a stone. He trusted that God would convict their hearts of the truth.
When you go into the world with a biblical worldview, you’ll meet some people like the Pharisees: arrogant, self-righteous, and ready to pick a fight. Others will be more kind but just as clueless about Jesus’ grid. Learn to tell the difference, speak the truth with confidence, and trust God to change their hearts.
John 8:9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
Third, Jesus got personal
When Jesus finally turned to the woman caught in sin, he didn’t start throwing stones at her. He got personal with her, ready to share the truth in love.
John 8:10-11 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I.”
Notice that Jesus didn’t try to address this touchy issue in public. He waited until the crowd was gone, and then he talked about it. Though Jesus was a great preacher, he recognized that people need individual attention. This is his plan for reaching the world: sending out mentors who are equipped to share the truth in the context of a personal relationship.
Finally, Jesus got to the truth
Jesus showed the woman grace and gave her freedom from her fear of immediate death, but he didn’t stop there. At the end of his encounter with this woman, Jesus called out her sin and challenged her to start living to honor God.
John 8:11 “Go and sin no more.”
As followers of Jesus, we believe that a biblical grid requires aligning ourselves with the perspective of Jesus. That means there is right and wrong, and we must be willing to call sin sin. Following our sinful hearts will lead to a life of destruction and hopelessness. And being unwilling to share a biblical worldview with confidence – as unpopular as it might be – is in the end not a very loving thing.
Followers of Jesus are following a man on a mission. He was always going out into the world, and so should we. But just like Jesus, we should be willing to share the truth in love, offering the world a life-changing relationship with God.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- When you interact with other world views, do you tend to be more of a coward or more of a jerk? Explain.
- Give some examples of unattractive zeal you have seen from Christians – on social media or in person.
- Read Acts 1:8. What is the Holy Spirit’s role as we engage with people far from God? Give an example.
- Explain some other reasons we have to be confident as representatives of Jesus.
- Read 2 Corinthians 2:14-16. How is the good news of Jesus like a fragrant perfume? Why do some people reject the aroma and others embrace it?
- Talk about some ways that we can make the fragrance of Jesus hard for people to smell.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.