In John’s gospel there is an account of some religious leaders bringing a woman to Jesus they claimed they had caught in the act of adultery. The idea of religious people bringing a woman whom they claimed had committed adultery to be judged is disturbing none the least. Which is why I find Jesus response hilarious. In John 8:8 it says “Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground”.
Why did Jesus write on the ground? This is another Remez, and by writing on the ground he was referring to Jeremiah 19:15. Jesus act of writing on the ground would have invoked the religious leaders to think on Jeremiah. Here is what we read in Jeremiah, “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.”
So what was Jesus doing by writing on the ground? He was in essence telling the religious leaders they were guilty of Jeremiah 19. Jesus by the act of writing in the ground was saying to the religious leaders, you have forsaken the heart of God, and you have departed from his ways. God’s way is not to condemn people, but to help people.
Needless to say, they all recognized what He was saying. They were all guilty themselves. They were convicted by the Scriptures. Did they take the hint? Did they get the message? They certainly did. Notice what happens next.
John 8:9 “And they 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. When Jesus had stood up and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are your accusers? Hath no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.”
Why do we seem to get pleasure in seeing others fail? What is it within our hearts that likes to condemn and criticize others? What kind of religion seeks to point out people’s flaws instead of compensating for their weaknesses? I’m not sure, but one think I’m certain about - it’s not God’s way!
God’s way is to save! God’s way is to disband the accusers and free us from the guilt and shame of our mistakes, or sins for you really religious folks. Remember Jeremiah 19:15 the next time you are tempted to condemn someone. Every person you meet Jesus wants to help, he wants to rescue them, and He just might expect you to offer a helping hand.
Following Christ is loving others as Christ loves you.