November 5, 2014
READ: John 8:1-11
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger (v.6).
Silence. That’s all he gave them. Silence. And some strange scribbling in the sand.
He’d been so vocal just a few moments before—sitting down, in the customary way, to teach the crowds gathered around Him in the temple. He’d spoken calmly but boldly then, passionately but enigmatically, about the kingdom of God and its arrival. Everyone had been enthralled by His word. But now, He was silent (John 8:6).
Other people weren’t so quiet. They shouted at Him, demanding an answer. “The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” (v.5). But He was simply silent as the shamed and trembling woman stood half-naked before the crowd. Tears flowed down her cheeks. But Jesus stooped to make some marks on the ground—without a word.
“All right . . .” He said, finally looking up, “but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (v.7). He lowered His gaze to the ground, wordless once more.
Silence, a few words, then more silence.
One by one the gathered crowd slowly began to walk away, Jesus’ words ringing loudly in their ears . . . and souls. Finally, just He and the woman were left.
Soon He would be silent during another tense moment, but this time He would be the one shamed and scorned. As Pilate asked his questions, Jesus would remain silent until the few words He spoke ripped deep into Pilate’s soul (19:8-12).
Perhaps Jesus’ silence should be kept in mind when we struggle to hear His voice—when we’re left with just a few words in between lengthy times of not hearing Him. His silence doesn’t mean He’s absent, and neither does it diminish His power or care. Instead it invites us to reflect on whether we’ve really heard what He’s already said. —Sheridan Voysey
365-day plan› Acts 19:1-20
Read Psalm 5:1-3. What posture does David suggest we take in the midst of God’s silence?
How do you interpret God’s silence in your life? What has God said to you that you need to remember or act on?