So many times in my life I feel guilty for being the guy who (not intentionally) chooses to cast the first stone. I almost feel it is my “responsibility” to correct other’s inexcusable wrong doings. I just can’t seem to stop it.
In John 8, we find that many people approached Jesus about a woman caught in the act of adultery. They knew she was wrong, guilty of breaking the law; and she should be punished.
As most all of you know, Jesus’ response was not what the crowd had expected. Although they stated that the Law of Moses commanded that she should be stoned, Jesus instead showed empathy to the woman, and rebuked the crowd stating:
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
Jesus was not merely sympathizing with the woman and contesting the crowd to defend her. Instead, He was reminding us that we must not judge others. We find that this was not the first time that Jesus chose to teach on judging others. In fact, He himself mentioned “I judge no one” (John 8:15). He spoke this, I believe, to remind us that we have the opportunity to be made righteous. We can be forgiven, and forgiveness is a TOTAL pardon for all sin. It’s not just compassion for the moment followed by a minor reprimand, but a TOTAL utter obliteration of our past mistakes.
That’s how Jesus comes to us – willing to forgive EVERYTHING. There remains no portion of punishment due to us, because He grants unending mercy to those who come to Him.
He said “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11a). He released her from the entire sin. Isn’t it nice to know that Jesus doesn’t hold grudges? It’s a total release of all things past.
For the future, He desires us to change and live right. “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11b).
I think that’s His challenge to us every day. I believe that He wants us to think “sin no more” – for He cannot be around sin, and He desires to be with us.