“Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.” John 8:15-16
P is for Precious Words, Not Rocks
And early in the morning he [Jesus] came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery…
Those sitting around Jesus must have been absorbed in His words. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him…. That’s how the enemy works, he interrupts! He disrupts with sin and accusations, and expects immediate recoil at what he’s dragged in.
and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.”
Now, if the accuser were to display our own sins, we’d be very quiet and careful to speak. But oh, how ready and careless we act and accuse when sin falls on someone else.
“Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.
The accuser knows how quickly our fingers point. He understands the mind of Eve—the minds of men—our minds—so easily distracted, defensive, and worried, and so easily persuaded to claim and taste that which belongs to God alone; in this case judgment and condemnation.
“But what sayest thou?” All eyes must have landed on Jesus, waiting. All mouths must have gasped, all carnal thoughts polluted with yet more sin.
But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
God’s impeccable composure cannot be unraveled, neither can His righteousness be caught off guard like some unsuspecting prey! Rather, it exposes all intent and all thought before it is even birthed!
Jesus stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground. Was this not the same finger that engraved the law into stone tablets? Was this not the same finger that wrote Belshazzar’s judgment upon the palace wall? (Exodus 31:18, Daniel 5)
Jesus stooped down to touch the ground that has been tainted by iniquity since man’s first and fatal sin—as though he heard them not.
The scribes and Pharisees waited, waited for a chance to accuse God Himself. The crowd waited, waited for judgment to fall far, far from their own sin and upon some other wretch.
So 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. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
He lifted up Himself, and spoke words that all of us should hear! “He that is without sin among you…” And again he stooped down. God stooped from His glory, to a temple courtyard, to the ground. And there, with His finger, He touched the dust from which He had fashioned man in His own image and for His own pleasure, purpose, and glory. What did His finger write this time, words of forgiveness? What did He see in the dirt, His own bleeding face, the cross on His back?
And 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.
One by one the rocks dropped! Why is it that I am still holding mine? Why is this lesson so hard to learn?
When 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?
Jesus had lifted up Himself from the ground on which He wrote—the ground that He Himself had cursed to judge man’s sin—the ground from which dust has been returning to dust ever since! And He looked at the woman! He looked at her as He now looks at us—utterly sinful, lost and condemned by His own perfect law, and in dire need of His grace and forgiveness.
She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Jesus spoke the most precious words ever spoken: “Neither do I condemn thee.” Can you grasp what this means? Can you? “He that is without sin…, let him first cast a stone.” But, He, who was without sin, did not cast a stone!
Can you see the immensity of grace even here, as He forgives and saves a life condemned to die? “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” How could she? How could she now sin, without breaking the heart of Him who loved her like no one ever has? Her heart would break even at the thought of sinning this way again!
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
We too need forgiveness, in the midst of our own temple courtyards–our hearts! Oh, that the One who could rightly condemn us, would forgive us instead! Oh, that we would stoop to His feet to hear those precious words spoken even unto us! “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Petra O. Hefner
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory, great things he hath done!
~Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)
Thank you for reading!
Photo by Kevin H. Flickr