Teaching and writing

Jesus writingThey say the early manuscripts do not carry this pericope but I am unreservedly captivated by it and more so last Sunday as I meditated on it and was struck by the timely insight that the gifts that God uses in my life were strongly figured and exemplified in Jesus’ ministry in this passage in the gospel of John chapter 8. You know the woman who was caught in adultery and the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought her to Jesus as he was TEACHING, and asked him a trap question, ” What should be done with this woman. The Law stipulates that she should be stoned.” The word “teach” got underlined and highlighted as I notice that all throughout my life I have had a passion and anointing to explain and apply spiritual insights from God’s Word to people’s lives. And I have always had good feedback about the clarity and impact of what I teach. So over the years I have become convinced that this is the Lord’s spiritual gift woven into my life to build up the church.

Jesus not only taught by speaking. In this case, He demonstrated the forgiveness of the Kingdom through action, firstly by stooping down to write. Some said he wrote on the floor the ten commandments, as the Law made the accusers conscious of their sins and they left in shame one by one when Jesus said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”  I am Pentecostal, so I am biased to a Pentecostal twist as to what he wrote. I think he wrote on the ground the specific sins of each of the accusers with great accuracy and the Holy Spirit convicted each one of his sins. Anyway what struck me is that he WROTE. My dad did not encourage me much and tell me what I am good at, but I remember him saying that I can express myself well in writing and so it has been a strength I have been sort of conscious of though I have never intentionally developed it. However four years ago, a step of faith into blogosphere has helped me to see writing on the web as an extension of my ministry, a modern means of communication that surpasses books in its reach and impact, and one that is geared to the new generation of internet savvy young people. I have since begun to see writing as a gift of increased value, and which I need to develop deliberately and deploy faithfully. I am also mindful as I meditate on this passage that the first and only recorded incidence of Jesus writing was combined with his teaching ministry to eradicate shame, fear, and condemnation by a declaration of full and free forgiveness available in Him.

I was blessed by the meditation, as I have been focusing more and more as a leader seeking convergence, so that all my experiences, and training and skills, and my understanding of what God had been doing, and is currently doing in my life, is moving towards the sharp tip of the arrowhead hitting the purpose the Father had painted. Our giftedness and anointing always point to our destiny and purpose of being. I feel focused, enthused and confident.

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  • Hi Pastor Kenny,
    I don’t know what Jesus wrote on the ground but I have to disagree with you that He “wrote on the ground the specific sins of each of the accusers with great accuracy and the Holy Spirit convicted each one of his sins” because I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts us of only one sin ie. the sin of unbelief in Christ (John 16:8-9), and not sins (or sinful acts).

    I tend to believe that Jesus wrote the Law on the ground to demonstrate the fact that He was the one who wrote the original Law because later in John 8:12-18 we see the Pharisees challenging Jesus’ testimony that He is the light of the world by again using the Law (without specifically mentioning which law), but Jesus pointed out the exact law which they are relying upon – “In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” (John 8:17-18)

  • Hi Blogpastor

    How about this? One of our sister movements to us Pentecostals, the Quakers,produced one gem of a leader, Robert Greenleaf, who is credited with starting the whole servant-leadership movement about 30 years ago. Greenleaf saw in the episode about the woman accused of adultery, Jesus ministering through a “word of knowledge.” Greenleaf chose to called it a “creative insight.” Greenleaf taught that to be a good servant-leader, we need to learn that there are times we need to refrain from talking so much, and “withdraw” from the situation. We withdraw so that we can receive a “creative insight” from the Lord. That’s the art of true servant-leadership: not just relying on our rational thought processes but tapping into our more intuitive side,where the anointing of the Holy Spirit ministers “words” to us. Greenleaf says this is part of servant-leadership because servant-leadership involves listening; emphatic listening. We listen before we act or talk! So whatever Jesus wrote is not really the issue! What is really important here, is that even though everyone is pushing Jesus to give an answer, He chooses not to speak so quickly! He “withdrawels” from the situation! Jesus could have gone about and providing instant rational and logical arguements.But He did not do that! Instead, He sits there writing in the sand in order to “withdrawal.” He thus waits for a “creative word” to surface from the Holy Spirit. And, the word eventually came: “Let him that is withbout sin among you cast the first stone.” This is not some kind of proof-text demonstrating the omni-knowledge of Jesus. It was rather, the the anointing of the Holy Spirit operating “upon” the man Jesus. Every thing Jesus said and did was through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus found it so needful to get alone and spend time with the Father. One of our dear Pentecostal fathers, Dr Del Tarr, also once drew inspiration from Greenleaf’s insights, and showed how we can apply them to all communication, particularly as in counselling. Dr Tarr said that we need to learn the art of making “space” for the Holy Spirit to function in our mind and in our perception of events around us. Sometimes, quick decisions and quick responses do more damage than good. Too often, quick thinking and rushing around squashes all opportunity to withdrawal and hear from the Lord. That’s the problem with the scientific mind; always rushing around trying to make things happen. Thus we need servant-leaders who are slow to speak and quick to listen. But often times being quick to listen means slowing down, withdrawing from the situation, and letting God speak a creative word.


    • Wow that’s a wonderful insight that into the way that Jesus was dependent on the Spirit in his ministry encounters! Thanks Monte.

  • Hi Kenny, this is a beautifully written blogpost. I think it is within the preacher’s licence to imagine what Jesus could have written on the ground. Your guess is as good as any. God bless.

  • You know, Kenny – it doesnt matter what others say/think of what you think, or what your observations are.

    At the end of the day, to God, (in my honest opinion) it only matters, what your heart is and where your heart is.

    This is exactly why I cant stand most my so called ‘nose-in-the- air’ ‘theologically trained’ counterparts – they think they have the right to hold 10 thousand knives, and dissect every statement, thought and idea any person has. It is as if they honestly think they are God’s mouth-pieces.

    Dont they realize that they themselves come off to us like the very same Pharisees that they condemn???

    DO these same group of people actually think that God is going to say “Yah, man, your theology (or exegesis…Who Cares??) on Jonah 2:10 was spot on, and you managed to figure out that it was written by the writer J in the superlative past present Aramaic tense – so now, welcome to Heaven!!”

    I think our God is much much bigger than all that!

    Sorry if I have been rude, Kenny, on your blog – but I just had to say it, and get it off my chest.

    • Ummm, I think my statements and intentions are being misconstrued.
      I merely was trying to take SPKenny’s side – by saying it does not matter what other ppl say abt what SPKenny said – if it is right or even if it is wrong – at the end of the day, something bigger matters.

      Hindsight, I did not have to be defensive on behalf of SPKenny, he is big enough to handle other ppl’s counter claims.

  • ‘Tis Mystery All! Don’t you just love how God gives us enough space to be creative just God is creative. I appreciate your Pentecostal-ly inspired insights.

  • Hi BP,
    Thank you for blessing with another altruistic and honest opinion. It has enlightened my own dimly lit stumble of a journey towards my master’s small and quiet voice.

    Faith and belief systems are very personal and there seems to be no reason for anybody to take umbrage or offense in your interpretation of reality, since we can neither prove or disprove your belief systems.

    Our immature enthusiasms and momentary altruism can sometimes transform into rabid intolerance when we meet the wonders of God’s universe – the unique human being who disagree or is antagonistic with our own faith. Can we accept them as God’s children, with as much right as us to make up their own minds and lead their lives according to their belief systems (assuming that we all live within a social-civil structure of “universal” human rights).

    As an enlightened Rabbi once remarked _ God only gave us 2 edicts – Love thy God with all your being and 2) Love your neighbor like yourself. The rest of the Bible is mere commentary if Christians cannot abide by these 2 simple tenets, is there any point in being a Biblical scholar or conversant?

    My hope is you will continue to share the light of your lamps with us, so that we shed more light on the way for all.

    Bravo, keep up your frank discourse. My thanks for sharing.

    Shalom brother.

  • The beauty of blogging over books is you can interact and put your views forth, even diverse and differing views. And of course it has to be civil discussion about the ideas not personal attacks, and such conversations make blogging alive, and accelerate learning. Thanks for the comments.

    • You got that right, SPKenny.

      And more than anything else, that’s your “beauty”, SPKenny. To allow conversations (of course, that do not hit below the belt) to go back and forth, and being open minded to views of other’s.

      And not like “some people” who delete other ppl’s comment, just because,….the blogger wants to look good/save his face, or because the comments are not approved or goes against the blogger’s personal views.

  • The floor of the outer court of the temple was made of stone and Jesus wrote with His finger on the ground.

    4,000 years before that, on Mount Sinai, a similar account took place where God also wrote with His finger on stone tablets.

    The Pharisees must have seen the parallel.

    The difference however was that back then, the dispensation was the Mosaic Law, and anyone who committed adultery was to be stoned to death.

    This time around, that same God was about to uncover a new dispensation, and the woman caught in adultery was not condemned.

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