But Jesus stooped down,
and with his finger wrote on the ground,
as though he heard them not. John 8: 5
John the evangelist is usually not much interested in event descriptions. But he draws a beautiful picture, a picture of a prostitute, a furious mob and an sedentary god sitting in the middle of all . It is not a colourful one, it says only a few words, but the impact it makes in the scene is tremendous. The mob already made a verdict on the girl, she caught in adultery. They knew the punishment too. Then what is the role of a son of god? The one once said- my intention is to complete but not to rewrite? All he did is bend down and wrote with his finger. Some kind of sedentariness, some kind of withdrawal. A homework in the middle of a common conclusion upon a feeble subject.
At last a verdict from him: Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. The script says when the mob heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones. He may have concluded that if a toddler stoned her it would be flower shower.
Here what Jesus did is not something like a washing of hands by saying “I am innocent of this mans blood” but what he did is giving a verdict. See how strongly a long silence argued for her. No questions about her sins, no interrogations. And it was not a verdict based on the scriptures, he made a law for his surroundings, some kind of anarchism. But it made some resonance in the heart of that girl, an anarchism much enough to make her recognise the one stood up in front of her is the Christ.
Jesus likes this anarchism – an anarchism answering the Pharisees about the act of disciples- who eat wheat while walking through the field during Sabbath. His view about the law, that law is for human, becomes the coronation of common people upon the narrow-minded privileged ones. An understanding, which conclude that, it is not immoral to be an anarchist while considering human justifications. An interpretation that says sin is not to be stoned.
The thought-provoking matter is, other than the prostitute, everyone bends down and stood up. When the people bend down and stood up they got stones but Jesus got hope. Bending down is an act of escape, self-examination. An examination to find out where our shadow is. We will tempt to throw when we see only stones. The crowd examined what they draw in the sand only after Jesus’ gave direction. That examination scattered their mind.
There is always a moment when the culprit and judge become alone. The time of verdict. When each one in the crowd becomes alone. Then there is no room for a verdict and punishment, and there is no place for self, so they went away, one by one.
Yes brother, it is easy to find stones in the floor; it is easy to find someone to stone. But homework will alter our minds. So don’t take stones, even we will be careful to throw it down and not to fell on our own feet. It is enough to place the prostitute among crowd, then let her live her life, sometimes people will gather tomorrow around you. We can be merciful as he is.