If you’re short on prep time or just looking for some extra guidance, our weekly Leader Training is designed to help you lead your students through the week’s lesson.
This is the Leader Training for Session 10 of our Winter 2023 study of the Gospel of John, chapters 1–11 (suggested use date: February 5, 2023).
You can also download this week’s leader training in PDF format here.
Session 10: Light in Darkness
Key Text: John 8:2-18
There’s not much that feels more spiritually dark than condemnation. Today we’ll read about a woman who was literally surrounded by people who condemned her. But Jesus, who was actually the only one with the right to condemn her, offered life instead. Jesus offers light to a world dark with condemnation.
How is the change in the woman’s environment a picture of the gospel?
Because of Jesus’s influence, the condemned woman’s environment shifted dramatically. She went from being surrounded by accusers who likely desired her death to receiving words of freedom and blessing from the One who loved her. This is a great opportunity for you and your believing students to remember what it was like to be in this woman’s shoes both before and after you knew Jesus, and to praise God for the gospel.
Keep in Mind:
— Reading this text means we must grapple with some difficult Old Testament laws which stated that the punishment for adultery was death. Your students may be close with adults who have been involved in adultery, or they may not see why this sin is a big deal. This is a good opportunity to remember two truths. First, sin is always a big deal to God, so it must be punished. Secondly, God the Son endured sin’s punishment Himself so that all who look to Him might have life instead.
— Your students might notice that only the woman involved in adulterous relationship was being condemned by this group of religious leaders (men), and that may stir up some big feelings. Remind them women were not generally honored in Jesus’s culture—but they were honored by Jesus. You can also point out that these leaders were likely trying to take advantage of Jesus’s compassion. They probably expected He would be more likely to let the woman off the hook, and thus fall right into their trap.
What truth could you share with someone who feels ashamed because they were caught doing something terrible?
FOR THE STUDENT: Students can be equipped to offer themselves and their friends two important truths we see in this passage: (1) Sin is always a big deal to God, so it must be punished, and (2) God the Son endured sin’s punishment Himself so that all who look to Him might have life instead.
FOR THE LEADER: Encourage students to consider this story the next time they or their friends feel condemned. Help them see how this story offers good news for their own stories.
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