Throwing Stones

John 8:2-11, “At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 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?” 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. 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. 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.”

I’ve often read this scripture and wondered what Jesus wrote in the sand. Was it mere doodling or was it her name? Probably, He wrote the names of those who held the stones in their hands and the sins of their lives. While the crowd stood fully clothed, armed, and comfortable, ready to render judgment, the woman stood before Jesus, fully exposed and humiliated. And in her moment of reckoning, He loved her.

Sadly, many Christians today stand with stones in hand, armed and ready to cast judgment against others, unaware of who they are. How many of us truly can, though, cast a stone against another?

Often we think we can hide our sins from God. We think we can cover up what we are doing by frequenting church more than our neighbor or praising Him louder than the person next to us. Some of us might think, if we point out the sins of others, our own sins won’t be as noticeable.

In this scripture, Jesus didn’t interrogate her about what she’d done. He didn’t try to put a case against her or to defend her. He didn’t inquire as to where the man was or which one of the two in question were married. He took little information from those in the crowd or from the woman. He simply wrote in the sand.

In reality, the only one qualified to stone her at this gathering was Him, and He loved her, fully exposed and vulnerable. Was it because she put herself entirely in His hands? She doesn’t deny what has happened. She doesn’t try to blame someone else. She doesn’t plead with Him to help her. She simply stands before Him, naked.

Now, more than ever, we need to get real with God. We need to stop hiding behind our sins and come clean with Him. There is a scripture from Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting!

There is no place to hide from God. The dark cannot shield us. He isn’t fooled by our fancy cars or designer tags or our careers. From our thoughts to our motivation, He knows our hearts!

Come before Him stripped down and exposed. Talk to Him about the things in your life you know need changing. Trust Him to help you handle them. Ask Him to examine your heart and soul for anything that prevents you from a closer walk with Him. Allow yourself to be naked before God.

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