Some of the most powerful teachings of Jesus are when the religious leaders are trying to catch Him in His words to bring an accusation against Him. He always seems to use those opportunities to demonstrate the power of the kingdom of God. This is one of my favorites.
In John 8, we see Jesus’ teaching in the temple, and the Pharisees interrupt His reading to bring Him a woman caught in the act of adultery. Pay attention to how Jesus deals with this.
John 8:2-8 (NKJV) Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.
They were testing Jesus. They were squeezing Him, hoping for something to come out of Him that they could use against Him.
“Our heart is revealed through testing. When we get squeezed by the circumstance of life, what is inside us comes out. “
There is much to be learned from this passage, but we will focus on two key phrases in this verse: “they said to test Him,” and “He bent down and wrote on the ground.”How are they related? What was Jesus doing when He bent down to write on the ground? What is the Lord saying to us through this encounter?
James 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Being slow to speak is just one of the many valuable lessons in this encounter. When Jesus got squeezed, what did He do? He bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground, giving us a living example of how to deal with testing and find the answers we need when our feet are held to the fire.
Most teachers would quickly get angry for bursting into the temple and interrupting the service. They would rebuke and correct such brash and irreverent actions, but that is not what Jesus did.
Instead of quickly answering, Jesus bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground, ignoring their badgering and waiting on what the Spirit had to say. I doubt that Jesus was writing anything significant. I believe He was simply checking what the Father had to say about it, how He should respond, and what He should do. I think He was seeking wisdom and understanding.
They continued to pressure Him. We don’t know how long, but when He finally stood up, He had the heart of the Father, and the Spirit gave Him the words to say. “He who is without sin, cast the first stone,” Then, once more, He bent back down and wrote on the ground, waiting for further instruction asking the Father about the next step, waiting for those powerful words to have their full effect.
This encounter is an excellent example of the Holy Spirit’s gift of the word of wisdom. The Father gave Jesus the very words that would diffuse the situation by a manifestation of the Spirit.
I believe we often miss out on the demonstration of Spiritual gifts by our lack of patience and discipline to wait when being pressured.
Remember that “Silence is Golden, but Duct Tape is Silver.” If you can’t keep your finger in the sand, keep your hand on the duct tape and apply as necessary. Do whatever it takes to give your heart time to tell your mouth what to say.
Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto
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