A Journey Through John | Re-direct | John 8.7-10| Movementministriesblog.com

by | Mar 16, 2019

“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8.7-10

Whenever I read this, as I have dozens of times, I am always fascinated (as many of you are as well) about what Jesus was writing in the ground that day. Here was the Teacher faced by accusers trying to trap him, with a barely clad woman standing in shock before him, in the shadow of God’s holy Temple. And when posed with a very pointed question about he Law of Moses and if they should stone this woman- Jesus does nothing. Brilliant, really.

Jesus knows the hearts of these Jews were wicked. They weren’t seeking to obey the Law of Moses or care for the needs of the sinful woman at their feet. Their only desire was to destroy Jesus and thus make themselves feel better about their own meager existence and “practice” of the Law of God.

And so Jesus, seeing no other way out changes the narrative. Rather than fighting, rebuking or correcting with stinging words of truth, he bends down and writes on the ground. What he was writing was less important shifting the focus from the half naked woman in her shame, to himself. For this is what God truly does with our sin — He bares its’ shame. Upon the cross, bloodied and bruised, he who knew no sin became sin for us. He bent down, wrote on the ground, and distracted the hateful, angry men from their primary target. (Besides, he was the judge, not them.)

Yet Jesus doesn’t stop there. He stands up and tells them, “He who is without sin throw the first stone.” Then he returns to his dirt doodling. The men awaken to their own sin and they begin to go away “one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.” Jesus straightened up and asks the woman, “Where are your accusers?” To which she responds, “There is no one, sir.” “Neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin.” Epic.

If Jesus had only said, “Neither do I condemn you,” then we might still have an excuse to sin. But he doesn’t condemn because he gives us (the woman specifically in this instance) the chance to change, to leave her sin, to walk in newness of life. You can bet from that day on she took note of Jesus, what he said and what he taught.

Jesus became sin for us. He changes the narrative, he takes on our shame. He doesn’t allow us to remain in our sin but shifts the focus to redemption and renewal.

This is good news! Let us go and leave our own lives of sin and walk towards the Savior. You will never be sorry you did.

“O Lord God, you are good. In the midst of my brokenness I find relief. I love how you deal with sinners, not accepting their sin but giving opportunities for forgiveness. I praise you for being a God who cares for humanity. You don’t command us to serve you but loving woo us into your presence. Come now, Holy Spirit, make your way into my heart. Help me be the person you have called me to be who seeks holiness and total sanctification. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen