In reading about the adulterous woman in the bible, we find the purpose of looking to God for guidance. In questioning God, we discover God’s perfect love for us.
8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
In the closing of this story about the adulterous woman in the bible, I see a verse that is subtle yet is key to our relationship with Jesus. In verse 8, it says He stooped down and wrote on the ground again. Remember, during this exchange with the Pharisees, He was writing on the ground. Let’s picture this scene. Jesus is teaching and they bring Him a woman in order to test what He will say. He responds by first pausing and writing in the dirt. As they continue to probe Him for a response, He gives them a statement that makes them ponder their own heart condition, their own motives according to the Law, and then gives them time to think about it. He reveals to them what He would have done, then gives them the opportunity to make a choice. God does this to us every moment of our lives, especially those moments when we ask Him what we shall do. Notice, however, that He did not tell them what to do, specifically, but rather He helped them realize that they already knew the answer. Fellow Christians, we know better.
A reoccurring conversation I have been having with others is about us questioning God. We know very well that God wants us to do this or that, yet we pause and ask Him, hoping He will give us the option we want. Better yet, sometimes we ask Him for a direct command, removing the responsibility from ourselves and our own choices while simultaneously removing the necessity for faith. “Should I do this not knowing what the future will hold?” In the Marines, we learned that discipline is, “immediate obedience to all orders.” We know what God wants, so why do we question it looking for a way out?
I find it interesting that the “older ones” left first, being wiser and understanding. Yes, they knew better. They knew better than the younger ones. Generally when we read this story, we tend to neglect how the woman must have felt. How did the sinner feel when religious zealots and even God Himself did not condemn her? THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is perfect love.
Isn’t it ironic that through seeking out God’s answer for a religious dilemma, the Pharisees not only were confronted with the error of their ways, but in return were given an opportunity to and followed through with an example of God’s love. You see, even in our wickedness, if we seek out God, He not only doesn’t condemn us (did we see Jesus tell them they were wrong or that they should be punished?), but the mere act of seeking out His will turns our hearts to be like that of His. We see this reflected in Mathew 7 in an analogy from Christ, “3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
If we seek out His will, we will find Perfect Love