All throughout Jesus’ ministry the religious leaders of the day continued to challenge what Jesus was teaching and preaching to the multitudes of people who were following and listening to Jesus’ words. They refused to accept that He was the Son of God so continued to plot on how best to silence Him by trapping Him and challenging Him with questions in front of the crowds. They were determined to condemn Jesus to discredit and accuse Him of heresy and blaspheme to give Him the penalty of death through crucifixion, which was the chosen method of execution of criminals in those days.
We find one of the greatest examples of their tactics in the beginning of John 8. 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. v4 “Teacher, they said to Jesus, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. v5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
As scripture says they were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus in silence, stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. If He said Yes, stone her, he would be agreeing with the letter of the law, so they could claim they were right and that He would be going against Roman law, who imposed the penalties. If He said No, then they could accuse Him of blaspheme and heresy by opposing the law of God.
But Jesus always fully aware of their traps and thoughts stood up and said “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” v8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. As we read they began to drop their stones and leave one by one until Jesus was alone with the woman. So profound was how Christ continued to shame and condemn them by His response and the lessons we are to follow on judgement.
He simply gave them not a yes or no answer, but what the laws of God were always intended to mean. The laws of God or the commandments were intended to point out the depravity and sinfulness of humankind. It further was to show humanity our inability to measure up to the high moral standards of God and our need to love, trust and worship Him in faith by the forgiveness of our sinful nature.
Then to clarify the full meaning of God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness Jesus said to the woman “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? ” To which the woman replied v11 “No, Lord,” she said.
What then is so great and remarkable is the response of Jesus back to the woman “ Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Now Jesus did not condone what actions the woman had made with her adultery, but out of a forgiving, loving heart, full of grace and mercy, told her to give up her sinful ways and do it no more.
This story speaks to our hearts, minds and souls to what a true follower of Christ and what being a Christian truly means. Jesus Christ shed His blood for the ungodly and the unfaithful so they[we] could be forgiven of their[our] sins and transgressions. He paid this heavy price so that we might live through Him and for Him in this world on into everlasting life.
How many of us, myself included, continue to judge, condemn and criticize other people’s actions and refuse to forgive them for what they have done ? How many of us continue to place ourselves above others and say Oh, I am so glad I am not like those people, I could never do that ? We all do this and forget to look deep within our own lives and be truly honest with ourselves. Only one man was perfect and holy enough to make this sacrifice on our behalf, and pay the penalty of death that was rightfully ours, and His name is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is very clear on how we are to judge others as He says in Matthew 7:1-3 “ Judge not, that you will be not judged. v3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye ? v5 Hypocrite, first remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye.” He uses the word “plank” as a graphic, visual image to emphatically stress the need to look at ourselves first, in our own sinful ways. We are not in any position to value judge anyone, and why do you suppose that is ? Because we all sin and only God has the authority and power to judge.
We are all sinners, as imperfect human beings, and there is none of us[you,I] who can truly be found righteous and good. Several scripture verses speak to this truth and one is found in Romans 3:10-12 “ There is none righteous, no, not one; v11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. v12 They have all turned aside; They have become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (See Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6)
So many say they believe in Christ, yet just can’t let go of the life they have in this world and all it has to offer. Right now, commit time in allowing the power of God to speak to you in scripture and in prayer and discover the immeasurable peace and joy that Christ Jesus will give you.
Let us always remember what Christ is saying to us next time we find ourselves value judging others. " All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
God is Life – God is Spirit – God is Truth – God is Love – God is Peace
Find additional inspiration and encouragement found in the books “Finding Calm in the Storm of Everyday Living” or “Heart and Soul” either going to Amazon directly or hitting home at the top of this blog and scrolling down to the books.