John 8: Stone Drop

“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.”  John 8:4-8 (NLT)

Jesus shows up early in the morning and begins to teach the crowd that gathers.  The religious leaders and Pharisees want to trap Jesus and get Him to do or say something that they can use against Him.  They bring in a woman who has been caught in a sin that according to the law, is punishable by death.

Jesus seems kind of chill.  He just stoops down and begins doodling in the dust.  Although, I do wonder if He was just doodling, or did He write or draw something specific, something that preceded His response.  We don’ know, but He does respond and tells them that the one with no sin can throw the first stone.  They drop their stones and leave Jesus and the woman.  Jesus tells her to go and sin no more.

This story always reminds me of how quickly I can judge others, especially other believers, and overlook the sin in my own life.  It can be so easy to want to point out others failures, especially those we see as “real sin.”  It seems that in the church we want to judge and disqualify those we see as immoral or whose life looks different than what we think it should look like.  All the while missing our own self-righteous pride and judgmental attitude.  And for whatever reason, these sins get a pass.  We, I allow myself to think higher of myself than I ought.  I sin and need a Savior.

Jesus didn’t overlook the woman’s sin.  He acknowledges it and tells her to go and sin no more.  I don’t want to be like the religious leaders and jump quickly to “stoning” someone for their sin.  I want to be like Jesus, extending grace and mercy and pointing them to the Cross.  My role as a believer isn’t to judge others sin with a self-righteous attitude, it’s to point them to the Word, to Jesus, to redemption, forgiveness and healing.

How much more satisfying is it to love someone, pointing them to Jesus and watching them receive forgiveness and healing, than just condemning them.    We all sin.  We all need His saving grace.  I need His forgiveness.

Lord, reveal to me the sin in my life today.  Convict me of the things that are harmful to me and to others.  Take me to my knees so that I can repent and be forgiven.  Lord, help me to see others like you see them.  I want to be your hands and feet, loving people and leading them to You.  Amen.

What is God speaking to you today through John 8?  Share your thoughts and insights in the comment section below.