John 8:4-6 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.”
When Pharisees and teachers of religious law call you, ‘Teacher’, you know you are in trouble. The truth is, they never acknowledged Jesus as a teacher in the first place. We concluded yesterday’s devotional saying that even though these men brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, the stones in their hands were not for the woman. When the enemy comes at you, it is God’s image in you that he is attacking. So, when you come into spiritual warfare, do not think that you need to cajole God to arise. Praying and praising are valid, do not get me wrong but you need to understand that it is God’s battle more than it is yours.
The Bible says, “They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him…” Jesus was going to get into trouble no matter how He responded to them and they were ready to stone Him. If Jesus said, ‘Execute her according to the law’, He would get into trouble for two reasons. Firstly, it is not consistent with His message of grace, so they would say He is a hypocrite. But that is even not what would make them stone Him. The Romans had taken the power to stone and to kill from the Jews, except if the person defies Caesar or does something against the temple. So, if Jesus had told them to stone her according to the law, they would stone Jesus and say that He was disobeying Caesar. Then take His body to Caesar and say Jesus disobeyed him.
If Jesus said they should not stone her because His nature is a hundred percent grace and a hundred percent truth, they would accuse Him of violating the law of Moses, the law of their God, and they would stone Him. Whichever way, the stones in their hands were for Jesus. I can imagine them caressing the stones and saying, ‘What do we do, Jesus?’ “…but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.” What do you think Jesus was writing in the dust? I like to let my imagination loose when I engage with scripture. If you were Jesus what would you write in the dust? I know what I would write in the sand. In fact, there was a time in my walk with God that I would have written, ‘Bastards!’ There are different schools of thought about what they think Jesus was writing and they are all very interesting. However, the truth is that nobody really knows for a fact what Jesus was writing.
One school of thought says Jesus was writing the names of the men in the crowd who were sinning. They back it up with Jer. 17:13 “…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.” [KJV] The word earth in this passage means dust. Another school of thought says He was not just writing their names, it was a list of sins that they were committing. Everybody there could see their own sin. Perhaps He was just playing with the dust and He was thinking, ‘ordinary dust trying to trap Me, maybe I should convert all of them to dust because man is dust.
Prayer: Lord, help me respond and not react to confrontations, in Jesus Name. Amen!