In the Bible, the story of the woman caught in adultery and threatened to be stoned to death is a beautiful illustration of Jesus’ grace and love for each of us. Not only does He forgive her of her sin, He also teaches each of her accusers how to respond to her; He challenges them that anyone present without sin may throw a stone, contributing to her death. The irony is that Jesus himself was the only one who could be found sinless.
How many times in our daily lives do we have a sturdy stone held tightly in our fists, ready to throw at someone we don’t agree with? It may not feel as savage as that because we hide behind anonymous comments on the internet, hushed whispers with friends or pretending someone doesn’t exist at all, but it is damaging. In our effort to be just, we risk killing the ones we are called to serve.
What if we simply dropped our rocks and stopped trying to be right?
Maybe we could pick up groceries for that sick neighbor, hold a baby for that single mom, give a ride to the teen whose parents never seem available, spend time getting to know that gay couple as actual people, and learn the names of the homeless that we hastily serve and pull away from.
I know I have my own stack of rocks of righteousness; I want to knock them down and walk away from them once and for all. Imagine what we could accomplish after hearing the thumps of rocks falling to the ground.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They 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. 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.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
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. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:3-11