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Saturday, September 21, 2019
Baptist Church

The First Stone

Tuesday, August 09, 2016 View Comments Comments (0)
 

stone-in-hand

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”  John 8:11b

The context here is John 8:1-11 where the woman caught in adultery is brought before Jesus.  I can imagine this must have been a pretty dicy moment until Jesus intervened.  Can you picture this woman being dragged in with a red face, her hair in disarray, and then thrust before Jesus in embarrassment.  Her emotions must have run the gambit from rebellion and anger to loneliness and fear.

The amazing thing about the false advertisement of sin is that separation from God is purposely left off the label.  Any time we find ourselves wrestling with a sense of isolation and fear, the first thing we need to do is search our soul and confess our sins so that we can have peace with God and enjoy the fullness of His presence again, rather than lash out and blame others for what we are experiencing.

There are two amazing stories running simultaneously here in our text.  One is obvious, someone has been caught in the act of adultery which is forbidden in the Scriptures by the Lord.  The second story is that of these scribes and Pharisees who claim’ to be truly concerned about holiness and justice, but in fact are not.  The reason I use the word ‘claim’ is because it obviously takes two people to commit adultery and if they’ve caught this woman in the act, where is the man?  These accusers were claiming to act on Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22 saying, “Teacher this woman has been caught in the act of adultery and the law of Moses commands us to stone such a woman.” (John 8:4-5)  They conveniently overlooked the fact that the law actually required both the man and woman to be stoned.  This woman was nothing more than a pawn being used to trap Jesus in a dilemma in order to discredit Him.

All eyes were on Jesus as these men waited with rocks in hand to see if Christ would condemn her.  If He didn’t then He would contradict Himself when He said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”   On the other hand if He did condemn her to be punished then He would contradict what He said in Luke 9:56 when He said, “For the Son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”  These Pharisees did not accept that Christ could show mercy to sinners and also keep the Law.

Of course there is no trapping Jesus or tripping Him up.  He looks at this hypocritical crowd and says in John 8:7, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” The word ‘sin’ here is very specific and referring to this actual sin the woman was caught in, adultery.  Jesus gave them the go ahead, and I’m sure the woman in shock braced herself for her fate.  However, rather than feeling the blows of stones coming her way, she heard the thud of stones hitting the ground.  No one condemned the woman because sinners don’t condemn sinners and God doesn’t condemn sinners until the other side of eternity.  Jesus had fulfilled the law because now there were no eye witnesses to accuse her.  Jesus also saved a life because this woman who repented of her sins experienced Jesus’ freeing forgiveness which enable her to go out and live a different life.

Jesus gave this woman what every heart needs, love and forgiveness.  He actually chose to save us all by dying on the cross as the payment for our sins.  Titus 2:14 says, “He gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.”  It’s obvious we can’t throw the first stone so let’s drop the rocks and spread the gospel so that lives might be saved rather than destroyed.

david ><({‘>


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