Scott Hodge

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The Woman & The Stoners (Part 1)

Sep 2, 2010
6 Comments

I love/hate the story in John chapter 8 about the woman caught in adultery.  In case you don’t know it:

  • Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people outside a temple.
  • A group of religious teachers (Pharisees) disrupt Jesus by bringing to his attention a woman who has been caught in adultery.
  • The Law of Moses says she should be stoned (think rock, not the other kind…).
  • So they ask Jesus (trying to trick him): “The Law says we should stone her. What do you say?

This is where the story starts getting REALLY good.  Jesus brilliantly responds by saying:

“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.” (John 8:7-8)

I’ll be honest.  I used to read this story and think to myself, “What in the hell was wrong with these people?!  How could they have thought they were so perfect and sinless?”

But the other day it hit me.  I don’t think they necessarily thought they were perfect or sinless…..as much as they were just doing what all of us tend to do whenever we forget just how ragged and torn we really are – they picked up stones.

I do it too. Every time I think of myself as being better or superior to someone else.  Every time I’m quick to judge.  Every time I choose to believe something other than the best about someone.  If I were to look down in those moments, I’m pretty certain I would find a big fat stone being tightly clinched in one of my fists.  Or maybe both.  Not because I think I’m perfect or sinless….but because that’s just what happens when we forget how desperately in need of God’s grace we truly are.

Ouch.

And that’s not even my main point here.  I’ll try to get there tomorrow.


6 Responses to “The Woman & The Stoners (Part 1)”

  1. Roseann says:

    It’s incredible how you wrote about this today! God has been bringing to my own mind lately a few people and circumstances in which I can easily pick up those darn stones! And,then I remember how incredibly reliant I am on His grace for my own daily struggles with things for which others may want to stone me! That’s when also the parable of the unforgiving servant comes to mind.. I have to freely give as I have freely been given,it always comes down to His amazing grace! This was so good to read..

  2. Jerry Stackhouse says:

    I Definitely agree. Another point to the story, I think that for the most part, people find in others what they don’t like about themselves. And It bothers them to the point that they would do something like “cast a stone.” Or maybe it was someone they cared about that did .something that bothered them and when they see others do it, it drives them crazy. My interpitation of the story is that: 1- You have to start by forgiving yourself which is usually one of the hardest things to do and 2, start forgiving others.

  3. jBatteas says:

    Wow, seems this idea has been on a lot of peoples’ minds lately. I too just read this passage, and had almost the same reaction. http://pasceverbo.com/2010/shockingly-sinful/ We often times compare ourselves to others, and come out looking so much better than them, forgetting that our standard is not other people, but the Lord Jesus Christ. All of a sudden, our assessment of our own condition takes on a completely different cast. Thank you so much for posting this! It is always a great encouragement to see others who are thinking along the same lines as you.

  4. Kristin says:

    I was reading in Genesis 38 this morning about Judah and Tamar and how when Judah found out that she was pregnant through harlotry, he wanted her burned. Yet he was the man who slept with her and impregnated her. Judah learns that he is the man and says that Tamar was more righteous than him, but how, how can it be okay for Judah to sleep with a harlot and there is no repercussion. It is the end of the story.

    My point is…in the story of the stones–there is no man being punished for his sin and therein lies the trick. It takes two last time I checked. We are so good at dismissing sin based on cultural norms, but God…I like that..but God knows our hearts and he sees our weaknesses and forgives when we repent. We need to be a forgiving people as well, for we are all weak and broken.

  5. mo says:

    Great point, about how they didn’t think they were perfect, but just did what they always did without thinking. Mike foster posted today at potsc.com about the dangers of not being aware of who we really are and what we’re doing.

  6. [...] situation. – Scott Hodge had a great two-part blog post on the woman caught in adultery (John 8): Part 1 and Part 2. – Read this! (Justin Taylor relayed a classic John Piper message) – The whole Koran [...]

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