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.
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?
Testing will always come because that is the way God has chosen to strengthen our faith in Him. Our true heart is revealed through testing. What comes forth from us during testing and trials indicates what we believe and who we trust. Testing is an essential part of the gospel. When we get squeezed, what is inside us comes out.
They were testing Jesus, putting pressure on Him. They were trying to squeeze Him until something came out of Him that they could use against Him. Being slow to speak is just one of the many valuable lessons to learn here.
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.
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 tests and pressure, and how to find the answers we need when our feet are being held to the fire.
I doubt that Jesus was writing anything significant in the dirt. I believe He was checking on the inside with the Father to see how He should answer and what He should do.
We know that in Jesus’s mind, He could do nothing of Himself.
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
So, instead of answering out of His own understanding, He bent down, focusing on what the Spirit has to say about this. They continued to ask and pressure Him. We don’t know how long, but when He stood up the Spirit gave Him the words to say. Then once more, He bent back down and wrote on the ground, waiting for further instruction.
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Jesus consistently modeled the gospel that He preached. If we can’t find what we are practicing in our churches in the life of Jesus, it doesn’t belong.
May times throughout the gospels Jesus separated Himself in between times of ministry to connect and fellowship with the Father. Without this component in our lives, we will not be strong enough to keep our finger in the sand when difficult situations are thrust upon us.
Nothing is reproduced without intimacy. If we are not intimate with the Father, we will not produce the fruit of who He is.