Thoughts from John 8:1-12
6 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. 7They 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!” 8Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
Grow into this thought: Sometimes you have to doodle in the dirt before you speak. If it looks like a snake and smells like a rat, it’s probably a rat-snake about to devour you. Just wait and see; don’t speak. Doodle the distraction.
Verses 1-3 tell us that you could be doing your job and somebody is liable to interrupt you. While Jesus was sitting down teaching the people in the temple courts, the religious leaders brought a woman to him. They caught her in adultery and made her stand before the group. Verses 5-6 help us to understand why the teachers of the law interrupted Jesus’s teaching. They were tempting him so they could accuse him. It had become a habit to these leaders to try to trap Jesus. So, why do we work on jobs thinking that no one will set traps without cause for us? I’m just asking…
If we look at what Jesus did next, we see a model we can follow. He doodled in the dirt before he said anything in response to them. He knew it was a set up. When you know it’s a set up, shut up. He acted like he did not hear them. Silence, coupled with a non-threatening action, gives you time to think before you speak. He stooped down and wrote something with his finger on the ground. For my point today – it does not matter what he wrote. Besides, it doesn’t tell us what he wrote and speculation distracts the point. Jesus bridled his tongue. As soon as some folks figure out that you’re ignoring their comments, they come back at you, like they did Jesus in verse 7.
When he did say something, he put the attention on the heart of the matter. He got to the point. He did not entertain a lot of conversation other than the current situation. Mind you, these teachers of the law and other religious leaders (the rats and snakes of his day) had interrupted Jesus while he was teaching outside the temple. People will try to side track you when you are working. Stay focused on your purpose, not their so-called hidden agendas. You see their schemes, but you don’t have to sound the alarm about them. Your response reflects who you are.
Jesus got up from his stooped position to address them. Respect people. Though they interrupted what he was doing, he did not return that with rudeness. He simply told them that the one who had never done anything wrong should throw the stone at the woman. Then, Jesus calmly stooped back down and doodled on the ground again. Smooth, cool… not anxious and distracted from his purpose.
So, what did they do? They left him alone and left the woman with Jesus. Their conscience would not allow them to continue. And, I’m still concerned that his lesson to the people was interrupted, but I suppose another lesson was brought forth. Sometimes what we plan to do and what we end up doing are two different things. Nevertheless, keep the main thing the main thing.
As I kept reading this narrative, I saw that Jesus had a short conversation with the woman in verses 10-11 to point out that her accusers were gone, neither did he condemn her, so she should leave her former life. The only thing she could say was that they were indeed gone and she acknowledged Jesus by calling him Lord.
At this point, verse 12, Jesus spoke again to the people he was teaching. He went on to talk about being the light of the world. Don’t walk in the darkness; have the light of life. Ah, there’s yet another lesson! There is always someone watching what you do and listening to what you’re saying. So, you might as well remain focused on your purpose; let them see and hear that. The interruption was a simple segue (an uninterrupted transition) into teaching them by example to walk in the light. Be enlightened, be aware that some folks make it their common practice to set up distractions for you. Just doodle in their dirt. They will probably return with something else, but you keep the main thing the main thing.
And so we grow … grow in grace, which is God’s special favor. www.barbaraafbrehon.com