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Embarrassing Obedience

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:6b-7)

Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He see the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)

One of the Speakers in Reynosa reminded us that John Wimber, one of Christendom’s greatest leaders in the past century, wrote and spoke on the incident recorded in John 8. Wimber shared an interesting insight that I want to share with you now.

As Jesus made clear, He only did what He saw Father doing. He looked… then acted. He listened… then spoke. Wimber suggests that the awkward delay spoken of in John 8, while Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt, was actually about Jesus buying some extra time until He saw and heard Father’s reply to the religionist’s questions.

Jesus would not act or speak in anything less than perfect obedience to the Father, even if that caused Him some awkward embarrassment and uncomfortable delay as He paused to hear…!

The Scripture does not tell us what He wrote on the ground or even if He wrote anything legible on the ground, because that is not the point. The point is this: In order to be obedient, even Jesus had to take a moment to watch, see, and listen in prayer. If that is true for Him, it is certainly true for us!

Pauses and delays and awkward situations can cause us to jump ahead of God and say and do things that are disobedient—often in the name of obedience! Better it would be to pause, pray, ask, seek, and even knock—to doodle on the ground—rather than give a hasty answer. After all, lives were at stake—the life of the adulterous woman, and the lives of the hypocritical religious leaders. Father through Jesus wanted to save them all!

Obedience, you see, can be embarrassing! Embarrassing not only because obedience to God is almost always contrary to human wisdom, but also because true obedience requires us to pause and see/hear our Heavenly Father before we proceed. To see Father, we must look through Jesus’ eyes (to be IN Christ) and that requires a prayerful entering… which… takes… time…!

Jesus was willing to be embarrassed to obey Father perfectly. Are we?

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