Today's passage: John 8:1-29
I must do a little promoting. In Bible college, required reference materials in several of my Bible classes was A.T. Robertson's A Harmony of the Gospels. It was published by Harper & Row in 1950. I have no idea if it is still in print. Let me also say, I know nothing of the background of this author so I do not want to endorse his theology. There are notes at the bottoms of the pages, which I usually ignore, but I find this to be a very useful tool when reading the gospels. There may even be a better version of this type of book out there, this is just the one I have. If you know of a better version, comment below (if you can, since it seems nearly impossible to do so) and let other readers in on your find. This is one of those books that I really feel I have gotten my money's worth even beyond the classroom. It lays out, verse by verse all of the gospels side-by-side, so you can contrast/compare each event that is found in each of the gospels. I've noticed that many study Bibles have an appendix with a side-by-side layout of the events in Christ's ministry, and that is also helpful, but this gives all the gospels verse by verse. It also shows the passages that stand completely alone and are not mentioned in any of the other gospels. John has a lot of stand-alone's, this being one of them.
I have always been taught that when the adulterous woman is brought before Jesus by the religious rulers, He stoops down to write in the dirt floor. Many have suggested that Jesus wrote the names of the people that had lain with this woman. But He was in the temple. I might be wrong, but I think there was flooring in the Temple. I'm not saying dirt and sand couldn't have collected there, but I'm pretty sure the Jews tried to keep the Temple pretty immaculate. However, I think the thought on those names being written is probably correct. Since John is the only gospel that records this event, I might have to imagine a little. I mean, this is God. Could He not have supernaturally written their names on the ground? Maybe that is what caused the rulers to stammer and abruptly leave. Maybe it wasn't so much their names, because verse 9 does say "being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last" as the manner that the names were written. Maybe the reason the woman believed so quickly is because of what she had just witnessed. This certainly would have convinced her that it was God who had just forgiven her of her sins, and commanded her to "sin no more".
Of course, if this is the case, it certainly did nothing to dissuade the rulers from continuing to attack Jesus. If nothing else, it probably fueled the fire a bit. Jesus launches into the Light of the World discourse. The Pharisees attack Him at every point. They are insistent on stopping what they believe is His foolish babble. In Jewish law, it was customary to have two witnesses to prove identity. Jesus says the two witnesses are Himself and His Father. The Pharisees want to know where His Father is. Jesus tells them that if they knew Him, they would know who His Father is. This is the part I find interesting. He says this to them when they are in the treasury of the Temple. Now, I'm convinced, that even locations in the Bible are mentioned for a reason. Why does John name this particular location when talking about knowing the Father? The treasury is where the Temple funds were collected. The Pharisees always made a big show about giving their money to the Lord (remember the story of the widow who gave all she had, and Jesus praises her for giving all rather than the Pharisees who had given much, but could have given much more?) Is He trying to indicate something by making this statement in this particular place? Is He again rebuking the Pharisees for their so-called love when they don't love God enough to give as much as they should? Were they short on their tithes? Were they even robbing the treasury? I know that is a lot to suggest, and I am not saying it is the case, but it does make me wonder. Jesus did say, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21) Where is my heart? Where I invest my money probably indicates a lot. I've invested a lot of it in good things. I can't think of anything better than putting money into my boys' schooling for a Christian education. I tithe, I give to missions, I give special offerings. But how much more could I do? If I didn't put so much into that satellite TV, how many more missionaries could I be helping? How many more teens could I sponsor to go to camp? How much more could I give to keep my son's school running? I've heard many recently talking about giving up that daily Starbucks splurge to free up money to donate to a ministry. Believe me, I haven't had even a weekly Starbucks splurge, let alone a daily one. But maybe I could give up that second cup of coffee at home ( I don't know about you, but even ground coffee from the store has gotten expensive these days) to enable us to give more for the Lord. Maybe I could trust the Lord more for my daily needs instead of depending on credit cards and watching all the interest add up and drain me of extra money I could use for Him. Maybe the reason Jesus said all this in the treasury was not because He was making accusations as to what they were doing with the money, maybe He was just pointing out their lack of trust in the God who can supply all their needs. He surely can provide all mine. Do I trust Him enough to take those steps? Jesus tells me He is the Light of the World. He illuminates things in my life, that I didn't even know were there. Thank You for being the Light in my life, Lord Jesus. Help me to make you the Treasure of my heart.