“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“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. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said,“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
One day, Jesus was just teaching at the temple when religious rulers brought him a woman who was caught cheating. This woman was most likely naked because she was “caught in the the act of adultery.” This woman was probably full of shame as she laid there in the dirt, naked and faced down. The Pharisees started quoting scripture and demanding that her punishment should be a stoning.
JESUS, however, decided to do things differently! He started writing in the dirt. He then stood and said, “if you’ve never sinned, then throw the first stone.” He bent back down and started writing in the dirt again. As the crowd heard and began thinking about what Jesus said, they all dropped their stones one by one.
Now, many scholars and people try to guess what Jesus was writing in the dirt that day. I have no clue, but I’d like to think that the second time he wrote, he wrote so the woman could see it. I imagine it saying something like, “smile.” I imagine the woman reading it and confusingly starting to look around.
As Jesus asked the woman where the crowd went and who threw a stone at her, I believe she looked up at him with a relieved, yet confused look on her face. I think what caught her off guard the most was that Jesus was probably looking her in the eyes.
He didn’t see what the world saw.
He didn’t see any of the shame she felt.
He didn’t see what he mistakes labeled her.
JESUS looked her in the eyes and saw HER. He saw the woman for who she was!
The woman looked up and saw her own DIGNITY IN HIS EYES.
QUESTION: Do we do that? Do we see past mistakes? Can we see past the nakedness, shame, and dirt to see the PERSON?
I think the church has spent a very long time asking, “what would Jesus do?” Well, I think it’s time to stop asking that question in situations and just simply do WHAT JESUS DOES!
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