Standing Naked Before God: the Woman Caught in Adultery
- Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Jesus was not buying into their scheme. He wasn’t going to play Bible Baseball with them either. Here stood a woman — I imagine face-down in her shame and scarcely clothed — surrounded by men in the
Wonder What He Wrote
It remains a mystery of the Bible. Rather than speak His answer, Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground, using his finger. Then He stood and said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Then He stopped and wrote on the ground again.
The accusers dispersed.
We don’t know what Jesus wrote, but let’s just imagine that He wrote their names. “If any one of you....”
Then, let’s imagine that when He knelt down again to resume writing, He began to finger-pen a list of sins...their sins.
“...is without sin...”
Standing there, draped in all their religious and fabric finery, they were before Him in as naked a form as they’d ever been. Their sins had been exposed.
The Ah-ha Moment
There are two ah-ha moments within this story.
- When God wrote the Law on the tablets for Moses to bring to the people, He wrote them with His finger. As the teachers of that very Law were attempting to trick Jesus, the author of the Law, He knelt down and wrote in the same manner.
- If the woman was caught in the very act of adultery, she was — in my opinion — most likely scarcely clothed. (Maybe they allowed her to grab a robe or a sheet from the bed, I don’t know.) Either way, I can’t imagine for the life of me that Jesus would have let her remain that way for long. Perhaps he took his outer garment off and wrapped her in it. Perhaps He stood — as her gallant Savior — in front of her, hiding her from the crowd.
When her accusers were no longer there, Jesus spoke to her for the first time. Whether they were alone or if His disciples were standing close-by, it must have felt as though there were no other people in the world, much less at the temple. The woman was standing, Jesus was still kneeling.
And then He stood and turned to her. “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?” He asked her.
“No one,” she answered. And she called him “Lord.”
“Neither do I condemn you,” he told her.
Do you ever wonder why? Perhaps for all the nakedness of her sin, what Jesus knew that the accusers did not, was the condition of her heart, the circumstances of her situation, and — more importantly — where she was spiritually at that very moment. “Lord,” she called him. Kurios, in the Greek, meaning, “Messiah.”
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