Wednesday, June 5, 2013

caught and freed

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.  They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  Now what do you say?"  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?"
 "No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared.  "Go now and leave your life of sin."  - John 8:3-11
Whenever I read this passage I really want to know what Jesus wrote on the ground with his finger.  I can only guess that, whatever it was, he wrote it in order to dismantle their trap.  I wonder if Jesus wrote with the purpose of exposing the motives of the pharisees and teachers of the law?  Maybe they didn't even comprehend what they were doing so Jesus decided to, in effect, hold up a mirror for them to see their own filth—to see how impossible it was for them to keep the Law they so often harped about.

Another question.  Why would Jesus bend down and write on the ground when he could've simply spoken everything to them?  I think it's because he knew if he shared it verbally they would catch the sound waves, but not actually listen and understand.  It looks like they didn't care much about his writing, though, because they kept on questioning him. 

When he wrote on the ground a second time it prompted them to leave altogether which is interesting.

Next Jesus did not focus on the woman's behavior, but instead challenged her cognitive framework by asking questions.  I think it's not that he didn't care about her behavior, but that he knew her behavior wouldn't change until he helped her clean up her thought processes.

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