Writing in the Sand…
John 8:4,5b &6b, “Now, master, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act... what do you say about her?... But Jesus stooped down and began to write with his finger in the dust on the ground.” (J.B. Phillips translation).
When someone draws on something, whether it's using chalk or spray paint, when they begin to transform a surface by etching out a word, phrase, picture or symbol, it draws a crowd. We see the lines taking shape and forming edges and start to sound out what the finished product will be. We guess at the what the next swoop, brush stroke, curve or line will turn into.
I like to draw and often doodle when I'm bored or even when I'm trying to come up with ideas or think things through. I'll draw houses or abstract designs morphing into other things that make no sense but I'll draw them because I like to draw, it helps me think and I like the way the pen feels as it fills in the blank spaces and creates odd designs. I'm always amazed at people who can make amazing creations by a few quick sketches. A few lines here, and a couple more scratches there and you have yourself something.
What was Jesus drawing in this story? It doesn't say does it? But I'm going to fill in the blanks just like we sketch out our ideas when we doodle and fill in the lines. Maybe by doing so some people will gather around and take interest.
Notice, if you will, that the lady in this story, she is caught “in the act” of adultery. She is immediately brought to Jesus for His verdict. We are all aware that it takes two to commit that act aren't we? So what happened to the other participant? Where is the other person involved? They aren't brought before Jesus are they?
What if, what if, as soon as this lady is brought before Jesus and thrown before Him in the sand He calmly clears off a spot and begins to write down the name of the man involved in this scandal? The man they clearly failed to bring before Jesus. Maybe He wrote His name in large letters, His first name, His tribe and His family name too. Maybe He wrote His church name and His workplace.
The Pharisees were quick to bring this lady to Jesus and wouldn't it be interesting if the guilty party involved with her were one of their very own. What if Jesus wrote out in the sand the name of one of their very own, one they had been trying to hide and cover up his involvement in this whole ordeal? What if Jesus wrote his name down in the sand, in large letters and exposed him without saying a word and everyone left.
The text doesn't say this but it's fun to draw between the lines and add some flowers, color in some boxes and spruce up some ideas you've been harboring and share the picture with others.
Who knows. Maybe someone will even consider my idea fridge worthy.