Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Cast The First Stone

John 8:7

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

RayMcDSome folks are quick to judge others. Maybe we all are at times. It seems to be a lot easier to see the trouble in someone else’s life than to see the trouble in our own lives. Rationalization is a sin that impacts us all for sure. We rationalize our sins but condemn someone else’s sin very quickly. It is so much easier to condemn than to confess it seems.

Remember this passage? Matthew 7:1–3 – 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” How true – a two-by-four on our eyes and we can still clearly see the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye or life.

Today’s passage is a very similar passage. Here it is in partial context. John 8:2–9 – 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

One of my favorite sayings is – it’s above my pay grade. Those who have been in Bible Study with me have it heard it often. When questions about sin in someone’s life arise – or tough interpretations arise – I usually say it is above my pay grade to judge anyone – let’s look at what God’s Word says.

Jesus challenged those without sin to cast the first stone at the woman they brought before Him. He didn’t say she wasn’t guilty of sin – He said the one who can judge her is the one without sin. And the one without sin didn’t judge her either – He had mercy. John 8:10–11 – 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Let us show mercy and grace to one another and cast not the first stone.

This devotional thought goes well with our last few on the heart. Is our heart quicker to show grace or judgement? Are we quicker to apply mercy or apply penalty?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


September 30, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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