I have a note on my corkboard that has one simple sentence. A sentence that I want to define me. I’ll share that sentence with you later after I relate a background story.
There is an account of Jesus’ interaction with different people in John 8:3-11. Some have questioned the authenticity of this story, but there is nothing about the narrative that is inconsistent with Jesus nor the actions of the scribes and Pharisees. This familiar account plays out this way:
The religious leaders catch a woman in the act of adultery. She is either cheating on her husband or is the mistress of a married man. I find a curiosity in the absence of the man. If she was caught, wouldn’t he have been there as well? Should not they both be “called out?” But I digress . . .
The leaders bring her to Jesus and remind Him of the Law of Moses and the command to stone those guilty of adultery. They want to know what Jesus thinks should be done. They are trying to place Him in a moral, ethical, spiritual, and legal juxtaposition. Would Jesus agree with the Law of Moses or would He speak against the Law? Would Jesus show compassion to the sinful woman or would He condemn her based on their accusations?
You remember Jesus’ reply in John 8:7, “Let him who without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” WOW! He cuts to the heart of the issue. He cuts to the heart of the leaders. His statement cuts to the heart of those who read His words even today. They get the point. They drop their stones and walk away. Jesus turns to the woman and refuses to condemn her, even though as the Son of God He has that right, but instead tells her, “Go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:11).
There are numerous lessons we can learn from this narrative:
- Do not be quick to judge others.
- We are all guilty of sin.
- Jesus (God) knows our hearts.
- Be quick to forgive.
- Be patient with others. Their sin is just different from yours.
- God forgives us not so we can continue to sin, but so that we can be free from sin.
“Let him who without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Back to my note. My note is connected to this story. My note reminds me that their are broken people whom the world and many times the church continue to tear down. My note says, “BE A STONE CATCHER.”
Will you agree with me to make 2018 the year we intercept stones instead of throwing them?
5 thoughts on “Stones”
It is possible the man was not a Jew and therefore not subject to the law. Hence the reason to choose her specifically to punish.
The text does not seem to specify sojourners as included or excluded in Leviticus 20:10 or Deu 22:22 (If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.) So your suggestion is as much a possibility as that it was a set up from the beginning, they might have paid off a man to set her up so they could “catch her” and attempt to trip Jesus up.
A Roman citizen would certainly have been exempt even if Mosaic law had included sojourners. Such a person could have been a plant (as suggested by the other hypothesis) or not.
It’s fun to suppose, though it doesn’t matter, really.
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