Written on the Ground

"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in the act of adultery," John 8:3 records.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus. Asking him to judge a case that needed no appeal. If he said she should not be stoned, then he was breaking the Law of Moses. If he said she should be stoned, then he could be guilty of inciting the Jews and breaking the Law of Rome.

On the horns of a dilemma.

What does Jesus do?

He stoops down and writes on the ground.

What did Jesus write?

Did he merely draw a doodle in embarrassment? Hardly likely. Did he list the sins of the accusers? Could be. Did he write the names of woman who the accusers had adulterous relations with or thoughts of? Possibly. Did he first write the charge before reading it in the custom of Roman judges? The condemning, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her," of John 8:7? He may have. Did he write Exodus 23:1&7 about being a malicious witness or bringing false charges? That would confront them. Did he write Jeremiah 17:13, "Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust," as a condemnation of their sinfulness? We do not know.

Whatever he wrote convicted them of their sinfulness. All of us have sinned. A fact.

Whatever he wrote exposed their hypocrisy. The sin of pretending you have no sin.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees were guilty. Hypocrites. They stood in judgment. They stood with stones. They stood as sinners. With no room to judge. They dropped their stones. And they walked away. One by one.

When Jesus confronts you with your stone in hand, what is written on the ground before him?

What is your sin? Where is your hypocrisy?

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