“Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect -and I don’t live to be-but before you start pointing fingers…make sure your hands are clean!” Bob Marley
I have been slowly reading a book called “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” it is an interesting read that is causing me to reflect on different things about the Christian life. It is written about the physical body in scientific terms and speaks about the body of Christ in a metaphorical way. In turn, this morning I read about fingers and so I decided to explore the Bible and see what it said about fingers. The first reference that popped up was the magicians referring to the plagues of Egypt as the finger of God. The next reference was God’s finger writing on the tablets for the Ten Commandments, then later on in the New Testament, it led me to Jesus’ finger writing in the dirt in John 8. I love this picture of Jesus. The teachers of the law and Pharisees bring this woman accused of adultery in front of Christ. They are pointing fingers at this lady for what she has done and Jesus in turn kneels down and starts writing on the ground. I wonder what he wrote, the Bible doesn’t say. It just says that he writes on the ground. Perhaps, he wrote down the Ten Commandments, since the teachers and Pharisees brought up the law. Maybe he was drawing a picture or maybe he was just doodling. We really don’t know. But we know how He reacts. He draws or writes something, I picture him doing it quietly and then he stands up and says whoever is without sin, be my guest at throwing the first stone. He then goes back to the ground and writes in the dirt some more. Imagine how angry the accusers are. Imagine how ashamed the accused is. But also, imagine the looks of the crowd, wondering exactly what Jesus is up to. Slowly, the crowd and accusers leave the scene and only Jesus and the woman are left. After all the accusers and crowd have left, Jesus stands back up and looks at the woman. He says, “Where are your accusers? Has anyone condemned you?” She replies and says, “No one has.” Then Jesus counters with “Then I don’t either, now go and sin no more.”
I started thinking about how often Christians and really just humans in general are quick to point the finger at someone. We are quick at judging and placing blame elsewhere instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror and letting God work on ourselves. Typically others respond to finger pointing by giving the finger back to the one pointing it. Pointing fingers only causes the other person to feel anger, shame, and annoyance with the pointer. It doesn’t change whatever they have done or are doing. It more than likely just fuels the sin instead of putting the sin out. I know that times in my life when I’ve been accused by someone for something, I’ve just rebelled even more. That’s not Jesus’ response. The thing is, God wrote the law…He made the rules. He saw that man couldn’t keep the rules perfectly, so Jesus came in the flesh to be save us. When Jesus bent down and wrote in the dirt, then talked to the woman, he told her not to sin anymore. In other words, he was extending forgiveness to her, he offered salvation. But, the ball was in her court whether she accepted his forgiveness and mercy and changed.
I guess the reason I’ve reflected so much on this is because I come across people a lot who clearly aren’t living a sinless life, but I don’t see where if I scream at and accuse them or remind them that they are in need of judgement where that would help anything. Instead, it would only cause them to flip me the bird and tell me to get the heck away from them.
Galatians 3:13 says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Jesus saves; he extends his hand of forgiveness to all of mankind. He does so with this amazing love that is hard to run from if you clearly see it. When Jesus turned to look at the lady who was standing there and he asked those questions….I’m sure she never felt so much love in her entire life, just by his actions and grace. So tell me, which way is better at encountering those who are lost? I’d rather do it Jesus’ way.