When I read the Bible, I often fail to grasp the graveness of the situations. Today wasn't one of those days - thanks to a Sunday School teacher who speaks my language.
A woman, caught mid-act cheating on her husband, is drug out to the streets by a hoard of men. She's most likely naked.
It's assumed this affair wasn't taking place in public, which means these people had known and were hunting to find her. Looking to catch her failing.
(Moment of clarity - Who hasn't hunted to find someone else sinning? I have.)
So when they do, they are probably on a mental high, like a hunter who caught his prey. They are celebrating. There is probably great joy in seeing her naked, ashamed, deathly scared.
(Moment of clarity - Who hasn't celebrated witnessing someone else's fall? I have.)
She's so scared, because at the time, the law called for her to be stoned to death. Which is fully what these people intended to do to her.
But these men also have another plan. They want to test Jesus on the law. So they bring her to him.
And many of us know what happens next.
Jesus says, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7-8 NIV
(Moment of clarity - We all suck. We all sin daily, and we probably should be consumed with fixing ourselves, instead of dragging someone else naked into the streets.)
One by one, they all leave, and Jesus is left alone with the woman. No one has condemned her, because none were free from sin.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11 NIV
During our Sunday School discussion, a man in my class asks an intriguing question.
"Why is he writing in the dirt?"
You see, twice in this passage of scripture it tells of Jesus, bent down, writing with his finger in the dirt.
And that picture, that moment, makes my heart swell with love for this man. For Jesus.
Here is a group of men, probably laughing and celebratory at this naked woman's situation.
She's failed. She's sinned terribly and been caught. She's being forced to face that sin, naked and afraid.
And then, there's Jesus. He will not participate in their public spectacle. He's so unconcerned with their carrying on, that he doesn't even look up from what he was focusing on in the dirt.
Most are probably gawking at this naked woman. Jesus, possibly out of respect and an attempt to comfort her, doesn't even look.
Anyone who has had an embarrassing moment can understand what these small gestures would have felt like.
Jesus shows respect and love to a naked, cheating woman. At her worst moment. At a moment when the world wants to stone her to death.
That's what he wants to do for all of us. You. And me.
He wants to show us his unwavering love while we are standing in the street, alone and naked.
I won't ever be drug out in the street naked for cheating on my husband, that's not one of my struggles. But there are things every single day that I should be drug out for.
And when I am, the one guy I want there with me is Him.
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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