Inspirational Sunday

"...let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"
John 8:7

Rae's Thought: This scripture comes from one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It's the story of a woman caught in the act of adultery...a pawn in the Pharisees' plat to discredit Jesus. The Pharisees were pompous religious leaders whose goal was to catch Jesus in a lie. They paraded this woman in front of a crowd, humiliating her, waiting to see what Jesus had to say. the crowd hurled insults at her, ready to stone her, while Jesus knelt down and silently wrote something in the dirt with his finger. We're not told exactly what he wrote, but some scholars believe he listed every sin of every person ready to stone the woman. "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?" (John 8:5) These leaders wouldn't leave Jesus alone until he gave an answer, so he finally stood up and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!" When the crowd heard this, they dropped the stones and left, one by one.

Unfortunately, this kind of Pharisaic behavior still goes on the family of God, no less. Murderers, thieves, adulterers, drug addicts, homosexuals, etc. They all get labeled as filthy sinners unworthy of God's love, but worthy of the worst punishment available. We, as a people, point them out, hurl insults, and humiliate them in front of a crowd that's ready and willing to stone them. Recently, I heard stories of Christians persecuting homosexual men and women in God's name. When people found out that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife many times, they wanted to throw the book at him, calling for the ending of his career and life as he knew it.

By no means am I condoning these behaviors. People are so quick to judge and correct others and they're ignoring their own sins. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 7:1-5: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." We have absolutely NO right to judge others because of their sins.

Humans compare sins - making some worse than others - but God doesn't. In His eyes, the one who tells a little white lie is just as guilty as the man who lusts after another man. The one who disrespects their parents is no different from the murderer on death row. "For EVERYONE has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 3:23, NLT). The Bible tells us that "if we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth...we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our heart" (1 John 1: 8, 10).

Why didn't the crowd end up stoning the adulteress? Because they couldn't...and neither can we. "Let he who has never sinned throw the first stone."