The Greatest Miracle OF All
“They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?”John 8:4-5.
I want to deal with the majesty of Jesus Christ. We know very little about Christ, before the incarnation. The word incarnation means that God became man. We know very little about Him. There’s one Scripture that says that He dwelt in a light, before the incarnation, in the portals of glory; He dwelt in a light that no man could approach unto.
In the great book of Revelation, John didn’t try to explain it, he just told it like he saw it. And we see grandeur and glory that staggers the imagination and by the grace of God, one day you will see it; you’ll see Him. As Fanny Crosby wrote: “I’ll look upon His face and tell the story, saved by grace.” Glory to God.
You’ll see Him in a completely different mode. Yes, with a glorified body, but the garments that He will wear look like precious stones, and yet they are soft; they are not hard like diamonds, or whatever the case might be.
But we know Jesus primarily only in the incarnation as the man, Christ Jesus. And that was necessary because God cannot die; He’s a Spirit being; He cannot die; it’s not possible. And so, for redemption to be completed, one would have to die who was perfect, and no man could fit that bill. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But God would have to become man in order to die—that’s the reason that He became man was to die. A strange thing, but that’s it because He had to furnish a perfect sacrifice to settle the account between man and God. Now think about that a moment. He had to become man—give Himself as a sacrifice in order for the ransom to be paid, so that man might be able to have all sins washed away—something we accomplish by simple faith in Christ and what He did at the cross.
So, in the incarnation, God became a man, but even more than that you might say, He was a peasant. He was not of the aristocracy of Israel. He was not wealthy in money and gold or silver. He did not attend the higher institutions of learning of Israel. That’s one of the reasons that the aristocracy hated Him so much because He did not attend their schools and did not ask their permission for anything.
In all of this, His majesty showed forth in the miracles performed. Never a person, not one time, ever came to Him and left with their needs not met. Glory to God. Even one lady was on the way to the graveyard with her son, who was dead, and Jesus raised him from the dead. Never a sickness, but He healed them all. Never leprosy, with all of its horror, but He cleansed the leper. No person ever came to Him with a need, but that that need was met. And yet the aristocracy of Israel would not come to Him, and He said to them, “You will not come to Me that you might have life” (Jn. 5:40).
But of all the miracles He performed—the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the cleansing of lepers—Augustine said that He raised many from the dead but no account was given. And He healed, I think we could say without exaggeration, tens of thousands. But I personally think that as John recorded it in his great eighth chapter, what I’m about to say was, as far as I’m concerned, His greatest miracle. His majesty came through in this as nothing else.
It’s early morning; the sun is just rising up over Olivet. It hits the pillars of the temple and almost instantly shrouds Jerusalem in light. And Jesus comes on Solomon’s Porch to teach. And He sat down, and He began to teach the people, and they began to come no doubt by the hundreds to hear Him teach. This, I think, what I’m about to say, is, as far as I’m concerned, the greatest miracle that He performed. It was the greatest thing—of all the wondrous things He did—this was the greatest.
He is teaching—the people were hearing a message under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which they had never experienced in their lives. And, all of a sudden there is a commotion. Every head turns to the source of the commotion, and there is a young girl, and she’s being clutched by some of the religious leaders of Israel. And they brought her before Jesus and before the crowd and flung her down. It had been planned to the zenith degree: “We caught her in the very act of adultery.” And that is a wicked sin. It is a wicked sin.
Let me tell you something ladies and gentlemen, if you pull it all down and come down to the bottom line, the cause of every problem is sin. Sin. It’s the cause of over half of the marriages breaking up in divorce. It’s the cause of some twenty million alcoholics in America besides the rest of the world—sin. The church today doesn’t speak very much about sin. They call it something else; but that’s the problem nevertheless—sin. Drug addicts by the millions—their lives wrecked, tormented, destroyed.
My first cousin was an alcoholic. I was raised with him; he was David Beatty’s brother. His mother and dad were godly people. Cecil was somebody that if you met him, you would like him; he had a gregarious personality. But alcohol—it got worse and worse and worse until the doctor told him, “If you get drunk one more time” (because the liquor was eating the lining of his stomach out and he was hemorrhaging), “don’t bother to come back here. There’s nothing I can do for you.”
But the power of sin is so strong, even with death staring him in the face saying, “I have you in my clutches”; the doctor saying, “You will die,” still the willpower was not strong enough to throw it aside. And it was only a matter of days until he was drunk again, and he began to hemorrhage internally. He lost so much blood that he couldn’t stand to his feet; he fell on the floor and pulled himself up to the little nightstand with his elbows. He knocked the phone down and finally got it and dialed his mother—my mother’s sister, Aunt Viola. And he said, “Momma, I’m dying.” Mothers are somewhat similar to the compassion of God. No matter that he was a drunk; she didn’t slam down the phone and say, “It’s good enough for you.” She said to him, “Put your ear up to the phone.” She had a third-grade education, but she knew how to pray. She knew how to pray. She knew how to touch God. She began to cry, “Oh, God, this is my son, save him! Don’t let him die!” God heard that prayer and stopped the hemorrhaging, and he lived another thirty years. Glory to God. Oh the blood of Jesus, it washes white as snow. That’s the only solution for mankind: Jesus and Him crucified. There’s no other solution.
And they throw this girl down, and they said, “We caught her in the act of adultery. And the law says stone her.” The Jewish targums say that they had rocks in their hands—big rocks, not little bitty ones, but big rocks. The law did say stone her, but it also said to stone the man, too. But they didn’t bother with the man.
And they said to Him—it was a trap—“The law says, ‘Stone her, kill her’”—and that’s all the law can do is kill you—and they have the stones ready to participate. If He said, “Kill her,” that would belie the compassion that He showed constantly. No, no, I don’t mean condone sin; He’d never condone sin one single time. But He can’t break the law. The law says “Stone her.”
And then they said to Him, “What do You say?” That’s about the only time in their lives those religious leaders of Israel—the Pharisees—that they said something right: “What do You say?” It didn’t matter what they said, it’s what He said that counted. Glory to God, Hallelujah!
What does He say? He says that He’s able to set the captive free! He is able to break the bonds and the chains of iniquity! He is able to save the soul! He is able to cleanse from all sin! He’s able to cast the demon powers out! He’s able to do all things!
What do You say, Lord Jesus?
And He wrote on the ground; no one knows what He wrote, but this is what He said (and we need to hear this): “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (Jn. 8:7). You need to hear that before you castigate somebody, before you chop them up with your tongue. You need to hear that. The Jewish targums say that He really said, “Those of you among us who are without this sin.” This sin. If He did say that, you talk about showing somebody up; these are the religious leaders of Israel. “He that is without this sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” And all of a sudden, Brother Ezekiel had business elsewhere. Brother Samuel said, “My wife is expecting me.”
Then Jesus turned to her and said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Neither do I condemn thee, precious words divine,
Neither do I condemn thee, from the lips of Life,
Neither do I condemn thee, hear it o’er and o’er,
Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.
Neither do I condemn thee, precious words divine,
Fallen from the lips of mercy like the sweetest chimes,
Neither do I condemn thee, say them o’er and o’er,
Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.
Jesus asked the girl, “Where are your accusers?” She said, “Lord, they’re gone.”
But now here is the question that’s got to be answered: the law said she had to die. Did He break the law by not killing her? No. He took her place on the cross. Glory to God, hallelujah! He treated her as He treated you, as He treated me, as He’s treated the whole of humanity that’s ever come to Him.
He took our place on the cross. And it wouldn’t have done any good had we gotten on that cross. We would have been a polluted sacrifice that God could not accept. But all you have to do is say, “Lord, I accept You,” and your world will change. Glory to God. He alone can change it, and He can change it. Praise God. That to me, out of all the miracles that He performed—the greatest that humanity had ever seen a thousand times over—but that situation with that young lady, to me, was the greatest display of His majesty of the entirety of His ministry.