In the book of John, chapter 8, we are told about a group of men who find a woman committing adultery. They want to stone/kill her immediately. You can read the short passage at the bottom of this page if you are not familiar with the story.
There is a lot we could discuss in just these few verses – like where were these men in the first place that they found this woman? Or, did they bring the woman to Jesus just to test him on the law/Moses? Who did they think they were? But instead – let’s look at the response of Jesus.
Jesus tells the men: whoever has not sinned, please throw the first stone.
After hearing this, one by one, the crowd began to leave. It says beginning with the older ones, the wiser ones. I imagine them loosening their grip, dropping their stones, feeling convicted. Hopefully they walked away and decided to look at themselves before judging others in the future. Hopefully they put themselves in her place, and felt the love of God.
Jesus tells whoever has not sinned to throw the first stone. He could have thrown a stone. He could have thrown a million stones. at her. at me. at you.
But He chose not to. In that moment and on the cross. He took your place. He took my place. He took her place.
How beautiful – just as the men with stones in their hands walked away one by one, Jesus erases our sins one by one: past, present, and future. He took it all for me and you on the cross.
May we “go and sin no more”. Not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Not in our strength, but His. Not our will, but Yours be done, Lord. We are so, so grateful that Your mercies are new every morning. Every second. And they will not ever end.
John 8 The Message (MSG)
To Throw the Stone
8 1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
3-6 The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
6-8 Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
9-10 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
11 “No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”