Tuesday, December 05, 2006

CASTING THAT FIRST STONE

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Jesus went to the mount of Olives, and early in the morning he came again into the temple. All the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to him that had been accused of adultery. They placed her in front of him and said, "Master, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such a person should be stoned: but what do you say?"

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him (of breaking the Law.) But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he hadn't heard them. So when they continued asking him, he stood up and said to them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. Those that heard his words, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last. Jesus was left alone, and the woman was still in front of him.

When Jesus had stood up again, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, "Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?"

She said, "No man, Lord."

And Jesus said unto her, "Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more."
(John 8:1-11)

This passage is often overlooked, except for Jesus's last quote at the end. It's often interesting to see things in a new light...

The bible never does say what exactly it was that Jesus was writing. Once the woman was brought before him, he just stooped down and began to write in the sand. We do know that we wasn't drawing pictures. Yet, he spoke briefly, and continued to write. And, one by one, those guilty of their own sins crept away, leaving only the woman behind. Is it possible that Jesus was carefully writing out the sins of each man in that sand? Was there a message being carefully inscribed on the temple floor as a reminder to each accuser that no one was unblemished? Surely, if the men were with sin, they would boldly proclaim themselves to be free from the accusations of a rebel. They sought to entrap him, by giving him cause to denounce the Law. Yet, they leave... perhaps a bit unhinged that this teacher would know exactly what their sins were (yet, Jesus nor the bible reveal exactly what he wrote!)

And then we have the woman. Does Jesus speak to her as he did the woman at the well? Does he tell her sins out loud... or call her a sinner? No. He treats her with mercy. A very simple 'Go, and sin no more.'

We shouldn't be so quick to judge others, because clearly none of us is perfect. And, we shouldn't be so quick to judge in place of God! For God himself did not condemn the woman, but instead instructed her to cease in sinning. How many have you condemned during your lifetime, simply because you felt they were in sin? How many have you shown mercy towards, even though they were sinners?

Jesus does go on to say "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me." It is God's right to judge, and he judges our souls.

We, as humans, tend to judge others souls and body as one. We see someone who looks or acts 'like a sinner', and we... being human beings... don't have the divine ability to see that person's soul. We assume that, because we caught them in a moment of sin, it is our place to put them in their place... to stone them spiritually. Plus, we tend to hold past sins against them, even if God has forgiven them! It doesn't look very intelligent to stand before God, pointing a finger of shame at someone we think is a sinner, when our own sins are right in front of us. I'm pretty sure God would want to know why we were so busy judging others that we couldn't take time to correct our own sins.

(Picture via email. Artist unknown. This is a republishing of an earlier entry. I had a lot of email come in, asking when a new entry would be posted. I'm still on vacation, and summer is always hectic for me. I'll do my best to get something new posted by Sunday.)

3 comments:

Thane said...

PS... have ya ever wondered why they didn't bring the man? Is it possible he was with the group, a part of the whole plot to trap Jesus?

Ah... insomnia writing.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have wondered why they didn't bring the man since they were caught in the act as he was just as guilty as she was. I also realize the example that was taught here by Jesus and the fact that Mary was the first one he appeared to after his resurection showed just how clean a person is after they have repented and been forgiven by God. We have the supreme example of fortitude, kindness, charity and forgiveness in him who set the perfect example, our Savior, Jesus Christ, who commands us all to follow. I also keep in mind the following scripture. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matt. 7i:1-2.)The Lord will judge with the same measurements meted out by us. If we are harsh, we should not expect other than harshness. If we are merciful with those who injure us, he will be merciful with us in our errors. If we are unforgiving, he will leave us weltering in our own sins. However, if we forgive them and they continue with their hate towards us, I do not believe we have to associate with them. The Lord will do the judging in the final analysis. BiddyBabyKelly

Millie's Inspirations said...

One of the saddest things to me is to see Christians judge each other. It is bad enough for us to judge non christians, who deserve our mercy and prayers more than anything else. God will be the judge.

But when Christians set about judging one another, things only go downhill after that. I think, most especially in the chat rooms I visit. If you do not agree with someone, name calling, putting them down, ridiculing them, or even lecturing them about how much better you are behaving, is not conducive to teaching or preaching the gospel. Which is to be our primary goal.

We should not lose our focus and let our pride rule our spirit. It is not about us, but about Jesus Christ, him crucified and risen the third day.

millie