No evidence exists that Jesus ever wrote a book. He did divinely inspire and speak through others, such as Paul, John, James, and so forth. But He never penned a book Himself.
But Jesus did write.
John told the story of a woman caught in adultery. The religious leaders brought her to Jesus, demanding to know what Jesus thought should be done. Jesus did respond—in the most unusal way.
“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger” (John 8:6).
I’d love to know exactly what He wrote. Wanna know what I think? (I’m going to tell you anyway.) I think it’s possible He simply wrote a variety of sins—the very sins of the men standing there in their self-righteous, accusatory posture. Such a list would bring that extra zing of guilt when Jesus spoke.
“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’” (v. 7).
The men ended up throwing the rocks—to the ground. These men knew they weren’t sinless, but unfortunately, they missed the greater message of grace and forgiveness.
Jesus didn’t just offer grace and forgiveness to the woman; He extended grace and forgiveness to the accusers as well. Their sins were real and serious, but Jesus didn’t list them in concrete that was setting up and hardening. He wrote them in the dirt.
With one wipe of His hand, the record of those sins would be erased. And with His death on the cross, the reality of those sins would be erased. Forgiven.
People like this adulterous woman know they need forgiveness, but those among us who let our efforts at righteousness morph into self-righteousness … well, we lose sight of our own need for forgiveness.
The blatant sinner and the self-righteous religious person. We’re all the same. And Jesus utters the same words to all of us:
“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11).
This post supports the study “Freed By God’s Forgiveness” in Bible Studies for Life.