This devotional was written by my friend Katy W. It is thought provoking, humbling, and encouraging. May God use it for His glory and use it to be of help and blessing to someone.
A Message Of Grace:
Jesus Writes In The Dirt And Then Forgives A Woman Caught in The Act of Adultery
He Taught Us All A Lesson That Day
Exactly why and what Jesus wrote in the dirt that day, we really don't know. I have wondered. So I looked up what the law states and how they dealt with someone in this woman's situation and why it related to Him writing in the dirt.
From the woman’s point of view it was humiliation and death, I'd say.
The law was not kind and she deserved it. So did the man with her. Caught in the act? Yikes!
What I want to point out in this blurb is how gracious and just Jesus was in the story and how wisely He handled the situation.
Based off John 8:2-11
“2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Let's take a closer look and read this in story form.
Jesus was in Temple teaching and sharing. Jesus had been healing and performing miracles. He might have been weary and had come to relax maybe and simply teach those willing to listen. There were plenty willing to listen in too. There is nothing more refreshing and peaceful than a sermon on a Sunday. This was His element too, I think. It was His Father's house, after all. He was with His Father and He was preaching and teaching – I imagine it was quiet like Sunday school class and not a loud sermon. This was His purpose.
The Pharisees were there also, watching Him, irritated with Him, no doubt – blinded and unable to enjoy His message.
One day a woman was brought in by these Pharisees. She had been caught in act of adultery. It was the law in those times, that both the man and woman caught in sin were to be brought in, tried and condemned. However, only the woman was brought in and tried this time. She was perhaps, kneeling with her face close to the ground, humbled, humiliated, waiting for her doom.
Jesus noticed the state this woman was in and the motive of the accusers. Both needed to be taught something here. They failed the law first of all and Jesus knew this and they still went on testing. How ridiculously foolish of them! "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery, what should be done to her? She should be stoned to death, as the law states. We want to ask, what would you have us do to her? " They were trying, I perceive, to get Jesus to condemn her right then and there Himself, without any trial at all.
Hang on a minute. Where was the male in this scenario? He too, was caught in the very same act, was he not? The man was not here. Not with the woman, doomed there along with her, that was plain to see. Again, how foolish.
However aren't we all sinful, foolish beings? We also pinpoint the sin of others when we too, have sin of our own deep within us that we need desperately confessed?
However, Jesus did things differently and justly. He was like the ultimate lawyer. Jesus spoke up, like He always did, and every one stopped and listened. It was like he had His own podium. "Each of you, listen to me,” He said, “whoever here, is without sin, let him cast the first stone at her. " He waits a minute or two and then begins to write in the dirt again. Maybe waiting to see what they would do; to see if they would repent of their own sin. No one knows for sure.
Still they persisted. I can just imagine it – "She was a married woman! We must kill her off." A man spits.
Jesus knew just what to do. He always was able to put the Pharisees in their place and teach a lesson. He stooped down and continued writing in the sand. (See v. 8)
Peter, John, and Andrew perk up, as well as those watching – including, the Pharisees. They watch with curiosity and then figure it out. Perhaps the words of Jeremiah come into their thoughts, "O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters." (Jeremiah 17:13)
Was He writing out their own sins? Perhaps. I do believe it was no doodle. It had a point. Jesus always had a point, even in his parables. He would later explain to his own disciples, afterwards to further make it clearer to them. Nevertheless, Jesus had made His point clear. He watched each one drop the stone they held and walk away, obviously convicted.
The woman and Jesus only were left. The disciples even backed away, perhaps convicted themselves. I know I would be. I mean this was Jesus, Himself. Jesus then noticed they were all gone and saw that no one had even condemned her. Jesus says to her, "Where are your accusers? No one condemns you?" He knew this but it was a time when this woman could interact with her Intercessor – a time to change and have that moment we all need to have, when Jesus affects us and changes our ways, our very lives. He gives a second chance. What a loving Savior! That is just what He did for her too. She replies now slowly meeting His eyes, reverently, "No one Lord." Jesus smiles at her and perhaps helps the woman to her feet, "Neither do I condemn you. Now go and leave your life sin."
This account reminds me of forgiveness, plain and simple. It was an example of agape love. Unconditional.
Perhaps, Jesus even said for this woman to follow Him; like He had Levi the tax collector, for example; and like He had most of those He met and changed. They followed and it surly changed their lives. Most likely it did the same for her. Her faith was awakened and she was forgiven on the spot and could start over; leaving her life of sin.
What a great story of grace and mercy!!! :-)