The religious leaders of the day – the priests and the Pharisees – considered themselves to be above the “foolish crowd” (v 49 NLT) They were the leaders; they had the knowledge; they had the wisdom….. However, it was those very things, or rather their interpretation, which kept them from the biggest thing that God has ever done in human history; and it was happening right under their refined noses!
We should never be tempted to look down on those who appear to know less about Jesus than we do, lest we fall into the same trap as the Pharisees. The knowledge of Jesus is accessible to anyone – if it weren’t then not everyone could become a Christian; God would be disbarring some people. We must continually allow Jesus to shock us; to unwrap what we consider as already learnt and be open to new ways of thinking and being.
A Saturday Meditation….
Read the passage. Imagine yourself into the story with Jesus as the woman is brought before the crowd (8:3). How does she look? How do the accusers look? What emotions can you see on their faces? How does Jesus look? Where are you standing? Jesus bends down and writes in the dust keeping his counsel… How do you feel? Jesus straightens up and gives his reply “If any one of you is without sin, let them be the first to throw a stone.” What is the reaction of the crowd? How do the accusers look now? How long does it take for the accusers to slip away into the crowd? How is the woman? How does Jesus talk to her? How do you feel? Does Jesus speak to you? Does Jesus look at you? Were you tempted to judge the woman or did you feel the compassion of Jesus? Why? How do you now feel about your own sin? How do you now feel about the sins of others? Write down your thoughts and feelings.
- In what circumstances am I tempted to feel spiritually superior?
- No one knows what Jesus wrote in the dust, but what do you imagine he wrote or was he doodling?
- What point was Jesus making with regards justice and judgement?
- Why did the older people leave first?
May we walk in humility today exercising mercy, compassion and forgiveness.