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  • Robin Smit

Writing in the dust...

They said this to test Him, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger. ~ John 8:6

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who abandon You will be put to shame. All who turn away will be written in the dust, for they have abandoned the LORD, the fountain of living water. ~ Jeremiah 17:13

Jesus was the exact image and embodiment of God. He was the radiance and the shining reflection of His glory. He was the expression of His substance, of His reality. He came as the Voice of the Father in action….. ONLY saying what He heard the Father say and doing what He saw the Father do. No man could ever again say that he had not seen God, that he didn’t know what the Father was like. All we would have to do is look at Jesus! He was both the mirror of the Father and the mirror of ourselves In Him, man and God were once again FACE TO FACE… breath to breath!


But instead of seeing the face of God and feeling His breath of Life, men remained staunch in their wrong beliefs, in the God that Moses presented in the law. Believing He demanded wrath and justice instead of mercy and love. They brought a woman that they caught in adultery and threw her at Jesus' feet, demanding her death because their social justice (the Mosaic Law) required it. But the Son simply looked at BOTH the woman and her accusers with eyes of compassion and love. And He began to draw in the dust. He wasn't stalling for time, nor was He writing the accusers' names and sins in the dust, as some have suggested.


I believe that by writing in the dust, He was reminding them of Jeremiah’s words.


We may not make the connection to Jeremiah 17 when we read John 8. But, the Jews of His day would have seen Him writing in the dust and asking who is without sin, and they would've made the connection. They realized that they were not without sin. They had forsaken God, they had abandoned Him in their understanding, and had departed from Him (Jeremiah 17:13). They had turned away from Him and served other gods. It says of them in Jeremiah that they shall be ashamed. These scribes and Pharisees, who were used to honor and respect from all, most likely felt great shame as they realized they weren’t without sin as they had thought. They probably felt a tremendous feeling of defeat…. feeling the sting of self-condemnation.

BUT Jesus wasn’t pointing out their shortcomings by writing in the dust. He IS love, and ALL He can pour forth is love. He IS Life, and ALL He can release is life.

When Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, it was ALWAYS with a passionate longing after them. It was rooted in His desire for them to walk in who He created them to be. And instead of hearing “judgment” and “disapproval,” we are to hear with ears of LOVE. Love that says, “This is not who you are! Come back to the knowledge of who you have ALWAYS been IN Me — My image and likeness, MY BELOVED SONS!!”


In writing in the dust, Jesus was declaring that He IS Yahweh, the Hope of Israel and the Fountain of Living Water (Jeremiah 17:13). Jesus was declaring to them, and to the woman, the end from the beginning. Saying to them, “I AM He who was FACE TO FACE with God and IS God. I AM He who was and is ONE with Father and Spirit....and WITH you!!!”


And although Scripture doesn’t say it and it’s pure speculation or imagination on my part. I can see Jesus began writing in the dust, the names of everyone standing there — just like Jeremiah said. And then the Breath of Life, Himself, gently blew into the dust. Once again, breathing Life on the names of those who had forsaken Him because they had lost their way. Reminding them that once before, He had breathed into that dust and formed man, who is filled with the FULLNESS of God. The word formed in Hebrew means COMPLETED AND CONNECTED! Man has always been COMPLETE and FULLY connected to God. He was designed to be a connection of heaven and earth, of the realm of spirit in this earth realm. And this Yahweh, who is Jesus, would heal them and save them from perishing (Jeremiah 17:14)…. to save them from living a life of non-existence. He would NOT leave them in the dust realm!


Yes, they had turned away from Him because of Adam’s transgression… forgetting who He was and who they were. But His plans would stand firm, His will before the foundation of the world would be done. They had been created in His image and likeness, AND they would once again remember they are sons made in His image.




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