Who Will Throw the First Stone?

Everyone has a chance to start over...

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.”— John 8:7

Adultery is a terrible sin. It destroys relationships and involves the worst and most sordid lies. It hurts spouses, harms children, and causes spiritual and emotional damage. Adultery will devastate a person’s relationship with God.

The ancient Jews stoned adulterous women.

When the religious leaders brought a woman caught in the act to Jesus, they were setting a trap. They knew He hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes rather than the religious elite, the rich, and famous. They expected Jesus to turn her loose and break the law of Moses. But Jesus forced them to turn her loose by leaving her judgment in their hands.

After the Pharisees dragged this woman to Him, Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger.

What would you give to know what Jesus wrote?

The prophet Jeremiah said long ago: “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water” (Jeremiah 17:130.

Jesus looked them right in the eyes then spoke these heart piercing words: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” The words stabbed their consciences and left them speechless and stunned. Jesus did not let the woman go!

To paraphrase, Jesus said, “You are right. She must be stoned. Now, let us appoint qualified executioners. Which of you is qualified? All we need is one sinless person and we can carry out the law.”

No one qualified. No one had the right to throw the first stone. We are not told what Jesus wrote, but it was so convicting that one by one, the accusers slunk away. When no one could condemn her, Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

I know you have made a mess of things, He was saying, but your life is not finished yet; I am giving you a second chance, to start over, brand new.

This is the Gospel. Jesus is not merely interested in what you have been or done. He is more interested in who you will be, what you can do, if you let Him give you the chance to begin again, brand new.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley