When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
Imagine with me the scene that day. A woman has been caught in the act of adultery. In biblical times, it’s a crime punishable by death—death by stoning. The men and women drag her into the public square. I can hear the voices of her accusers, raised in hatred and condemnation.
- “You’re nothing but filth.”
- “You knew what could happen when you made your choice.”
- “Get rid of her. We can’t have someone like her contaminating our town.”
Instead, Jesus introduces them all to the concept of grace.
And He does it without compromising the law or the heart of compassion he’s known for.
Back in the viewpoint of our sinner, I can imagine her laying there at His feet, covering her head with her arms as she tries to make as small a target as possible. Every muscle is tensed, waiting for the first stone from the angry mob.
As the crowd begins to quiet, instead of the sound of stones whistling through the air, she hears the words of the teacher. His pronouncement takes them all by surprise—even her. And I can imagine that the next sounds she hears are the thumps all around her as the stones drop to the ground, before the crowd disperses.
Those in the crowd learned as valuable lesson as did the woman. They learned that they have a choice when it comes to confronting sin. They can be stone-throwers or stone-droppers.
It’s a choice we still have today. Starting today I’m going to make a conscious effort to drop those stones and be an instrument of grace.