Don't Throw Stones

Scripture: John 8:7b, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’

 

Observations: The religious leaders are incredibly upset with Jesus’ popularity, and so they bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery in order to trap Jesus. If Jesus upholds the law and has her stoned, he would be breaking Roman law, as well as damaging his credibility with the common people. If he lets her go he would be ignoring the law which would also damage his credibility. Instead Jesus tells them ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ With this answer Jesus affirms both that the law is right, and that the law condemns everyone, that no one is righteous, and in a position to judge others. The amazing thing is that Jesus was the only righteous one present, who had the right to condemn the woman, but he instead says, ‘neither do I condemn you. (v11)’ While the religious leaders, who are in no position to judge others, judge the woman, Jesus who is in a position to judge people, instead offers grace.

 

Application: How quick are you to judge others? How quick are you to throw stones, even if they are metaphorical stones, like looking down your nose at certain people, or shaking your head, or muttering something under your breathe, or thinking less of people? The truth is that no one is without sin, and none of us has the right to judge others. And that’s true especially of us as Christians, who have experienced God’s grace. We know we deserve God’s condemnation, but instead we have received his loving and mercy. How much more should we be merciful and loving towards others?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for having a judgmental spirit, for looking down at certain people because they don’t behave in a certain way, or because they make decisions I don’t like. Lord, remind me of the fact that I don’t behave according to Your perfect standard, and that I constantly make decisions that don’t please You. Lord, help me appreciate just how great Your grace is towards me, and help me to show the same grace towards others. Lord, keep a judgmental spirit far from me, and instead fill me with Your Spirit that I might become more like You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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