That thing you hide from others so well, isn’t hidden from Jesus. That thing you carry around on the inside of you is fully seen by Jesus. He knows your dirt. He sees your shame. He is aware of your guilt. And he’s not walking away from you for a second!
You’re not dismissed from His good plans for your life. You’re not disqualified for the calling God has placed on you. You’re precisely who he wants to work in and flow through. Your life is the one he has chosen to glorify his name and carry his message. He has chosen you. You and your dirt!
There is one time Jesus is found writing in the dirt. Do you remember when that was? It was when a woman was filled with guilt and shame, and she stood before Jesus to be judged. Knowing her dirt, he wrote in the dirt. What a powerful story it is.
John 8: 1-11 “Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
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. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
What was Jesus writing? What was Jesus thinking of this woman? How would he handle her guilt, her shame, and her accusers?
Scripture doesn’t say what Jesus wrote in the dirt. But, we can look back at the customs of that day for a clue. In the temple, priests were required to write the name of the guilty person and the law they had broken. However, their names could not be written permanently. It had to be erasable. So, often, the priest would bend down in the temple to the dirt on the floor, and write the names of the guilty and their sin in the dirt.
Where was Jesus when this woman caught in adultery was brought to him? He was teaching in the temple. Yes, the very place where priests would write guilt and shame in the dirt. So what could Jesus have written that made each of the accusers leave? Could he have written their names? Could he have written their sins?
He knew their dirt, just like they knew this woman’s dirt. They wanted the woman to be stoned to death for her dirt. Jesus wanted her dirt to be removed from her.
Jesus could list every sin you’ve ever committed. He knows it all, even the things no one else knows. He has seen it all. Yet he chooses not to condemn you. He says to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
We let our shameful failures create space between us and Jesus. We pull away, thinking he must be disappointed in us. We think he turns away from us, but we’re wrong. Jesus doesn’t flinch over your shortcomings. He’s not turning his back on you. He’s not dismissing you from his blessings. He’s bending down to show you that while he knows your dirt, he’s setting you free from it!
You’re not free to keep living in it … you’re free to be changed! You’re free to leave every ounce of guilt and shame at the feet of Jesus and walk away renewed to live differently.
Who are we to point the finger at someone else’s sin? Who are we to throw stones at anyone? It’s said every time we point our finger at someone else, we have 3 pointing back at us. And it’s true. Point your finger and look at your own hand. Count the ones pointing back at you. We never read of Jesus pointing his finger at someone. We read of Jesus reaching out his hand. What would ever give us the right to point, to judge, to condemn?
Judges 7: 1-2 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”
The Pharisees were judging this woman caught in her sin. They only brought judgement upon themselves. One by one, they each left when they saw what Jesus was writing in the dirt. Could it have been their own dirt? Their own guilt and shame now on display? They came to accuse, and they walked away being guilty themselves.
Jesus will take care of your accusers. He knows their dirt too. Their dirt is not your business. Let it go. Let them go. Don’t be drug down to their level.
Jesus wants to do a healing work within you. Not a bandaid to cover the wound, but a true healing from within. He wants to get to the core of why you do what you do, and heal that. He wants to fill that emptiness that has caused you to make the choices you’ve made. He’s not here to condemn you. His will is NOT for you to carry guilt and shame. His will is to set you free and fill you to overflowing.
Imagine the freedom this woman felt watching her accusers leave, one by one. Imagine the burden lifted from her when Jesus declared he did not condemn her either. Imagine the new life she stepped into when her dirt was fully forgiven and she decided to never, ever live in that dirt again.
This is what each of us can have. You don’t have to relive your mistakes. You don’t have to carry your guilt. You don’t have to wear your shame. And you don’t have to keep doing what you’ve done for one more day. Jesus has declared your dirt forgiven.
When the finger of Jesus enters your dirt, everything changes!
Here’s my dirt, Jesus. You already knew about it, but now I surrender it fully to you. Set me free from this dirt and align the trajectory of my life with your good plans!
Yes, Jesus knows your dirt. And he’s over it … now you can be too!