John 8:1-11 (CEB)
8 1 And Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he returned to the temple. All the people gathered around him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group, 4 they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone women like this. What do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, because they wanted a reason to bring an accusation against him. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger.
7 They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.” 8 Bending down again, he wrote on the ground. 9 Those who heard him went away, one by one, beginning with the elders. Finally, only Jesus and the woman were left in the middle of the crowd.
10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Is there no one to condemn you?”
11 She said, “No one, sir.”
Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, don’t sin anymore.”
#thatawkwardmoment when the preacher tells a joke in a sermon and no one laughs except the preacher.
#thatawkwardmoment when your son asks a question that you’re not sure how to answer and in the silence, your 5-year-old daughter says, “awwwwwkwaaaard”.
#thatawkardmoment when people come to you for an answer and you just draw in the dirt on the ground. (John 8:6, 8)
Jesus bent down and drew in the dirt. Could it be anymore awkward? What did he draw? Was he just doodling? Is he stalling? Is he trying to remain calm while others are testing him? Is he about to bring wisdom, and by stalling for a moment draw us in? Is he trying to show us that what we think is important is no big deal?
I have no idea what Jesus is doing here other than forgiving this woman, saving her life, stopping bullying and embarrassment, and pointing out that we all make mistakes (sin).
I am glad that Jesus chooses to forgive. I wonder what #thatawkwardmoment was like for her. Oh wait, I do know that feeling. That feeling of God’s grace and forgiveness washing over me when I have messed up. The awkward feeling of being forgiven. The awkward moment of being restored. #thatakwardmoment of salvation, not light years away, but right here, right now.
You and I and this woman are forgiven. Some awkward moments are necessary. We need them. Like #thatawkwardmoment when someone wronged you, expected judgement and you forgave them, because God did the same for you.
1. Can you remember #thatawkwardmoment when you felt God forgive you?
2. Can you provide #thatawkwardmoment of grace and forgiveness to someone else?
Prayer: Lord, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. I also give thanks for my friend Miriam, that her surgery went well, continue to heal her. Amen.