Dirt Writer, Adultery, & Getting Stoned
–Jesus writing in the dirt . . .
I just experienced the Holy Spirit as teacher. I picked up my Bible to do my daily reading. I read 5 verses and then was captivated by something in the 6th verse of John 8: “Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger.” And for the first time in 45 years of regular Bible reading I realized that what He wrote wasn’t important enough to be included in the Bible, so the important thing must be the fact that He bent over and marked in the dirt. But why did He do that?
–A woman had just been dragged in front of Him who some people had caught in the act of adultery. He was told that Moses’ law says to stone such a woman to death and then asked what He thought about it.
–So, in such a crisis, why would Jesus bend over and write in the dirt words that weren’t important enough for Scripture at such an important moment? Surely, as God in the flesh, He could have immediately come up with some nice words to say.
–His simple action did several things: 1) It gave Him time to listen to God; 2) He disarmed the anger by responding in humility; 3) He distracted the crowds’ attention from the situation; 4) He made people curious about what He was doing; 5) He broke eye contact with the crowd; 6) He allowed time for God to work by shifting the atmosphere of the moment from intellectual questioning to the working of the Holy Spirit.
–After writing a bit, Jesus stood up and said the famous words: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Then He bent over and wrote some more.
–I felt like God told me to stand up and then bend over and pretend to write on the floor. So I did. In that position just about all I could see was the floor. I would have been very vulnerable to people who were trying to trick me. However, I could have seen people’s feet walking away.
–And the people did walk away from Jesus until only the woman and Jesus remained. Even His disciples drifted away. After He saw all those feet walk away, Jesus looked up at the woman and spoke to her (implying that He was still bent over writing while he was talking to her). He sent her away forgiven with the commission to go and sin no more.
–I think that I need to write in the dirt more — to humbly bend; to not try to immediately fix a situation with my own words; and to allow the Holy Spirit the time and the freedom to work while I scratch away.
Read more in my book: Beyond Church — An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible, available at Amazon.