Jesus sits, stands and bends

Thoughts on John 8:1-11

I have always loved this incident in your life, Lord, it shows have compassionate, brave and wise you are.

You were minding your own business sitting among the people and teaching them. First of all you were not standing over or aloof from the people, but sitting with them; saying with your posture, I want to be your rabbi.

Then the religious crew stormed in with a plan to trap you, bringing into the crowd a woman, literally caught in the act of adultery. Oh my gosh, how awful, the poor woman! Did she stand there with only a sheet wrapped about her? Shamed and fearful? She was an object to the Pharisees, they cared not about her, only how she could be used to accomplish their goal – get Jesus into trouble. Standing you receive them.

This is where you shine, Jesus. You bent down. All eyes in the crowd watched you; bending and writing something in the dust drew the attention off of the poor woman and onto you. In bending you covered her shame.

Standing you offered wisdom. It was true, according to the law of Moses, such an act’s punishment was death; but in wisdom you said “Examine your own heart first, can you honestly say that you have done nothing that is deserving of death according to the law of Moses? If you can find no charge to bring against yourself, then go ahead, cast away.”

“And once more you bent down.” What a risk you took. One person throwing a stone would have generated a stone throwing frenzy. Mob mentality would have taken over the group and you and the woman would be dead. Yet you remained near her. You kept writing something in the dust, maybe words you wanted her to know. How brave you are; how strong your desire to communicate to the world how willing you are to suffer with us. Thank you Jesus.

The crowd melted away, beginning with the eldest, and left you and the woman alone. Perhaps, in her shame, she had kept her head lowered, eyes downcast. Remaining bent you looked up at her, and addressed her directly, “Where are your accusers?” How humble and compassionate you are Jesus. It is only from this position, with your body lowered beneath her that you could have contact with her downcast face and hold her gaze; she looking down and you looking up. With her eyes held by yours, you speak the words of freedom.

Thank you Jesus, you sit with me and teach me; you stand before me offering the chance to understand myself and act with wisdom; you bend before me, keeping near and eliminating my place of shame. I am not condemned. I can go and sin no more. Amen.

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