Thursday, July 29, 2021
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 religious scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in the 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. Finally, 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.”]
Note: John 7:53–8:11 [the portion in brackets] is not found in the earliest handwritten copies. -John 8:1-11 The Message.
Chapter 8 begins from verse 53 from chapter 7. It says that everyone went to his home. From there, the scripture continues to verse 1. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning, he came again into the Temple, and all the people were coming to him; he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery and having set her in the center of the court. They said to him, “Teacher, this Woman has been detected in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing him so that they might have grounds for accusing him. But Jesus stooped down and, with his finger, wrote on the basis (ground). But when they persisted in asking him, he straightened up and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her?” Again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Verses 1-8 study: In Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22, the Law is written that both parties to adultery be stoned. But instead, the Jewish leaders arrested the Woman without the man. The leaders used her to trick Jesus, but it didn’t work. If Jesus had told them to stone her, he would have violated Moses’ Law. As a result, the Jews can’t carry out their own executions (18:31), even if Jesus told them to execute her. Otherwise, they would have reported him to the Romans.
There are times where we have to understand judging with compassion. Jesus didn’t command them to stone the Woman. Instead, he gave her a lot of empathy. Jesus couldn’t be accused of breaking the Law either. So no penalty happened for the adultery. He said that only a sinless person could throw the first stone; he highlighted the importance of compassion and forgiveness. The question is, are you passing judgment? If you do pass judgment, you are acting like you never sinned. That is not the way to work. It is not your role to judge; it is God’s role. Our role is to have empathy.
What is unclear is if Jesus was ignoring the accusers by writing in the ground. It is also not clear if he was listing sins or writing out the Ten Commandments.
Continuing with verses 9-11: When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, starting with the older ones, and he was left alone, and the Woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on, sin no more.”
Studying verses 9-11: Let me talk for a minute here while learning. I have seen somebody on Facebook that is so quick to jump on and put out posts talking about the truth, the sins of the world, making it seem like they are perfect. When I look at those posts, I get to thinking, what about you? Where are your sins? Do you sin? How do you correct those sins? You be quick to post about sins other people commit, but you don’t say anything about yourself. You don’t offer solutions, help, nothing at all. You just get on, talk about other people’s sins, and talk like you are the perfect person. You are not. In verse 9, Jesus said that only someone who had not sinned should throw the first stone. Guess what happened? The leaders slipped quietly away from oldest to youngest. Age and experiences often temper youthful self-righteousness. It doesn’t matter your age, take a good look at your life and see your sinful nature for what it is. Those social media posts should be offering a solution, not just saying what is true.
Let’s be mindful of the fact that Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, but he didn’t ignore or condone her sins. However, he did tell her to leave the life of sin. Jesus is ready to forgive any sins in your life. We have to confess those sins and then repent, meaning a change of heart. If we continue to call God, pray, and read the word, we can accept Christ’s forgiveness and stop doing wrong.
Father, thank you for your love. I pray that we don’t judge that we can help others and not make matters worse. I see it every day on social media, and it is a child of yours that I see every day, and it is draining because they offer no solutions. Father, I pray there are solutions for this person to see the error in their ways and correct it. In Jesus’ name. Amen!