With Jesus as Lord, we share His Love
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February 2010

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"I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
John 8:12

Pointing the Finger

Pointing the Finger


            Ever been accused of something you didn't do?  Ever been accused of something you did do?  Ever had your sin pointed out to a crowd by people who considered themselves more righteous than you because they weren't guilty of the same thing you were?  Well, there's a woman who lived during Bible times who knew exactly how you felt.

            Early one morning, while Jesus sat teaching the people in the temple at the foot of the Mt. of Olives, the scribes and Pharisees interrupted and presented Him with a woman they had caught in the act of adultery.  As the scribes and Pharisees presented her to Jesus and the assembled crowd, they mentioned Moses and the law which commanded that a woman guilty of adultery be stoned to death.  Of course, Jesus knew they were testing Him, trying to find a way to accuse Him of something.  What was His response?  Certainly not what they expected.

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  John 8:6

            There has been a lot of speculation about what Jesus wrote on the ground that morning, and I won't hazard another guess.  Rather, I want to suggest that Jesus may have been instructing those men by the very act of writing with His finger. 

            After all, they had brought up Moses and the law, yes? Who had written that law, and how had it been written?

Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.  Deuteronomy 9:10

And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.  Exodus 31:18

            While Moses was up on Mt. Sinai receiving the law God recorded with His finger on tablets of stone, the rest of the nation of Israel was assembled at the foot of the mountain molding and worshipping a golden calf.  These were people God had miraculously delivered from bondage in Egypt, people who had seen the fire and smoke at the top of the mountain and were terrified because they knew God was up there!  Their memories, like ours, were so short. Could Jesus have been reminding the scribes and Pharisees in the temple at the foot of the Mt. of Olives of their ancestors' sin at the foot of Mt. Sinai? Did the scribes and Pharisees, those brandishers of the law come to understand that, in their hearts, they were no more righteous than their ancestors had been? 

            The law was given to bring unrighteous people to the realization of their need for the mercy of a holy God.  It's the Author of the law Who is to be worshiped, and not the law itself.

            To the woman's accusers Jesus said, He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.  Remember, He seems to be saying, these people here know only what they see, but the holy God in heaven sees and knows your heart.  After the woman's accusers were convicted of their own sin and went away, Jesus said to the woman, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

            What are we more likely to do, point our fingers and throw laws like stones (or entire stone tablets!) at people who are guilty of sins different than our own, or point people to a holy God who uses His finger to write those laws on stone? 

            What should we be doing?  I think we know.



Daye Phillippo

January 2010