Who Can Cast the First Stone?

John 8:1-11 – But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.  Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”  This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.”  And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

The Mosaic Law stated that adultery was punishable by death.  As Jesus taught in the temple, the scribes and Pharisees interrupted His teaching to bring a woman caught in adultery.  They were not really interested in following the Law of Moses.  If they were, where was the man involved in this?  He was just as guilty as the woman.  If they had actually caught this woman “in the very act”, then the man would have been present.  Judging was not really on their mind.  They wanted to trap Jesus.  If He said they should stone her according to the Law, they would have accused Him of lacking compassion and mercy.  He also would have been guilty of suggesting the Roman law should be broken because under the Roman’s rule, the Jews could not condemn anyone to death and death by stoning had been outlawed.

On the other hand, if He said not to stone her, they would have accused Him of contradicting the Law of Moses and declared Him to be a false teacher.  So He did what we should do so much of the time, He kept silent.

Deuteronomy 22:22 – If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

He wrote in the sand.  No one knows what He wrote, but there have been many conjectures on our part.  Maybe He wrote the words about judging from His “Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 7:1-5 – Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Maybe He wrote His condemnations of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy found in Matthew 23:13-33

Matthew 23:13-33 – But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!….Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites….

Perhaps He wrote something similar to what Paul later wrote about judging.

Romans 2:1 – Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

How much time elapsed while they continued to argue their point of view is unknown.  I am sure the longer they talked, the louder they got.  I am also sure that He knew the right time to raise up and look them in the eye and make one simply statement.  “He who is without sin among you, let him first throw a stone at her.first.”

If He wrote in the sand the sins of those present, what did He write?

  • Murderer
  • Liar
  • Thief
  • Adulterer
  • Unfaithful to God’s house
  • Deceiver
  • Gossiper
  • Prideful
  • Unloving
  • Unkind
  • Envier

Had you been standing there; would you have been the first to cast the first stone?  We sometimes look at ourselves with bias.

I am not like him/her

I do not do this or that

If you want to throw stones, throw them at the devil.  Put him to flight.  He is the accuser of the brethren.

Revelation 12:10 – Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Before you judge someone else, point at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am totally free from all sin, all fault, and all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:8-9 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 3:10 – As it is written:  “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

No condemnation.  When Jesus looked up the second time from writing in the sand, not one of the accusers remained.  When she told Him no man remained to condemn her, He spoke words of comfort to her.  “Neither do I condemn you.  God and sin no more.”

There is no condemnation for us today from God.

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

John 3:17 – For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Our unconfessed sin and lack of believing on Jesus is what will condemn us.

John 3:18 – He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 8:11 – And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

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