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Weekly Devotion – John 8:7

By Mike Caton

John 8:7, 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.”

The religious leaders continue to question Jesus. In my mind, they keep on hammering the question, What do you say we do with this adulterous woman? Do we stone her? What do you say? Maybe they were throwing out more challenges and taunts, answer us, prophet! What does your father have to say, you Son of God! Mobs have a tendency to get louder and more aggressive. Maybe there was some pushing and shoving. There is no other way to describe this, except as an ugly scene.

And when Jesus does speak, it is not the answer they are expecting. Jesus says whoever is perfect, whoever has no sin, let him be the first one to throw a stone. Hmm, that is enough to make anyone scratch their head and slow down. We all will admit that we are not perfect, but we will too often be quick to add we are not as bad as whoever. But that really doesn’t get to the heart of what Jesus is saying, he says let the perfect one, the one with no sin, cast the first stone. No one is bold enough to step up. Because the truth is, we are all sinners. And we all, for the most part, recognize that fact. The real trouble comes when we begin to rationalize that, to try to justify ourselves. And we are masters at this, we can come up with every reason in the book as to why we are not so bad, or that we are not as bad as someone else.

But that is not what Jesus says to these men or to us today. Jesus wants us to realize that we are all sinners. We all sin in different ways, we all choose which of God’s commands to heed and which ones to ignore. But the end result is still the same; guilty, sinner, condemned. James 2:10 tells us, For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking it all. We all stumble, probably at more than just one point, therefore we are guilty of breaking it all. And that means there are no big sin or little sin, there are just sins, and we are all guilty.

But the good news is, Jesus came to earth to offer us forgiveness! We don’t have to stay a guilty, condemned sinner. Once we come to Jesus, commit ourselves to him, and submit to his plans for our lives, those sins are washed away. But think about it, would a forgiven sinner throw the first stone? Would he want to? Or would he want to share the good news about grace and forgiveness? Something to think about, there.

Father, help me offer grace instead of throwing rocks. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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