Today’s Scripture: John 8:2-5; Leviticus 20:10; Matthew 5:27-30
For those of you have ever taught a class or led a workshop, how frustrating do you find it when people come into your session late? It’s tolerable if one person sheepishly enters and slips into the back row to keep from disturbing the rest of the class. Imagine a group of people who noisily barge in, move to the front of the room, and then proceed to teach YOU a thing or two. That’s pretty much what happened to Jesus.
In John 8 we read where Jesus came to the temple courts and, as people gathered around Him, He sat down to teach. Suddenly the “teachers of the law and the Pharisees” barged in and dragged a woman who had been caught in adultery to the front of the classroom. These legalistic teachers and Pharisees were setting a trap for Jesus, the radical Rabbi. Would He follow the law of Moses and start casting stones at her? The law taught that if a couple committed adultery, they were both to be put to death (see Lev. 20:10). However, the Pharisees may have forgotten that Jesus broadened the definition of adultery when He said, “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:27). Oops.
While the men voiced their accusations, Jesus calmly began to write something in the dirt with his finger. I wonder what He wrote. Some believe He was spelling out the ten commandments. Others think He was listing the sins of the Pharisees. Maybe He was writing out His definition of adultery. Regardless, He turned the situation into a teachable moment for everyone—the students in the class, the woman on display, and the hypocritical leaders who wanted to make the Lord—and the woman—look foolish. These teachers of the law thought they knew it all. But, the divine Rabbi taught them a lesson they’d never forget.
Those of us who are teachers need to be careful that we don’t reach the point where we think we know it all. When we lose our ability or desire to be taught, it’s time to quit teaching and sit a while in the classroom of the divine Rabbi.
- Be honest. Is it easier for you to teach or to be taught?