Stooping…a Beautiful, Powerful Thing…!
The Jewish leaders and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery and quoted Scripture to prove their point and catch Jesus in the act of breaking the law of Moses. “Moses’ law says to kill her. What about it?”
Knowing they were trying to trap Him, he stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. So often we want to know what He wrote in the dirt. As I read it today, I thought… “What a distraction to focus on what He might have written.”
Instead, maybe we should think about this:
Don’t you suppose their lack of mercy toward the woman made Jesus angry as did their false accusations toward Him? He was fully God and fully man. Surely His anger was rising. You know the feeling…that fire of indignation that starts in your belly and rises up toward your tongue!
But Jesus stooped. He didn’t fight back…He stooped. When someone you care about comes to you and speaks harshly toward or about you…do you fight back, or do you stoop?
Gosh, I wish we could see it. So often, we use the same angry tools the person who is treating us poorly uses. They aren’t spiritual tools. They are foolish and futile earthly tools not meant to fight the spiritual battle we are really fighting. Ephesians 6:10-12 (Below)
But Jesus…Jesus stooped. Do you think maybe He was lowering Himself out of the line of fire, so they wouldn’t get more angry and defensive because of the righteous indignation they saw in His face? Do you think perhaps by lowering himself, avoiding eye contact, and distracting the conversation, He could have been providing them an opportunity to walk away rather than hanging on to their pride and staying, simply to avoid being the first to back down?
How many times do we show that kind of wisdom, restraint and mercy, especially when we are right and the one accusing us is oh, so wrong?
We sometimes behave like a bratty little kid whose Dad is restraining him by holding his long arm against his son’s chest. The child is punching and kicking furiously but gathering only air. Nothing he does is effective. He is so prideful and angry that he just…doesn’t see it!
How quickly we forget that it isn’t about being right or even winning the fight! It is about the redemptive work of God in the person who is fighting us and…the redemptive work of God in us.
Jesus humbled Himself so often when He could have called an army of angels or simply stared at those around Him and melted them to the ground. But…he knew that restraint and love provided the best opportunity for their redemption and now…ours.
Isn’t that what we are supposed to do for the people in our sphere?
Oh…if we could only see it…remember it in the heat of the moment and then…
John 8:7-11 (TLB) 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, hurl the stones at her until she dies. But only he who never sinned may throw the first!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote some more in the dust. 9 And the Jewish leaders slipped away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until only Jesus was left in front of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, sir,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) 10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.