John 8:4-7 ” they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.””
This passage is a crucial example in the bible of how fair and just Jesus is. As well as another key to forgiveness. The people drag the adulterous woman out of bed to Jesus to be judged. Which if we put it in real life context happens often. Men and women believe they are doing a just thing by spreading the word of someone else’s sin and condemning them for it.
This response to sin is not of God. The text reveals to us that this was how the people tested and tempted Jesus to see if they could have something to hold against Him. So this is not for justice but instead used for evil to put people to shame. You may think you are doing right in doing this but this act of putting others to shame is wrong. Shame is not what God wants for his people. The Lord sent Jesus to redeem us from shame. So what sense does it make for us to shame each other?
The people thought because they accused her, that He would condemn and reject her. Instead Lord turns them away with the truth that they were all sinners. In this example Jesus teaches us that there is no sin greater or lesser than another. That if you are a sinner in any type of way or form, that you have no right to condemn another sinner. “He who is without sin” the Lord says. Being that we are all of original sin no man or woman can condemn another. Jesus’ compassion towards the woman shows us his compassion towards us. As well as the attitude that we should have towards each others sins. He knows being of original sin, it is hard for us as we are to be one hundred percent free of sin. But It is up to us to strive to be as free of sin as we can be. When we do fall and falter it is on us to ask for forgiveness and flee from sin.
The theme of this passage is only the innocent can judge. Nobody in this entire world is completely innocent no matter how high of a pedestal you put yourself on. God knows all your sins so when you condemn another you are only condemning yourself! You could be pointing a finger at someone for something and God is on the other side pulling up the moment where you had sinned. While He is comparing them He sees no difference. A sinner is a sinner, the sin doesn’t change the degree of punishment. Judgement is the Lord’s and the people needed to learn their place which is shown in the passage. It is no man or woman’s place to judge another man or woman. Remember God does not like hypocrites. Jesus gave us his response to how He feels about when we point fingers at each other looking for whatever self justification knowing we are sinners. In Matthew 7:5 He says, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” If you admit your own sins and forgive yourself of them then you know how to respond to the next persons sin. Not with judgement but with the same mercy you show yourself. We are to treat one another as we treat ourselves. Do not be a hypocrite forgiving yourself and your friends or loved ones, yet judging and condemning everyone else. Judgement and punishment is not the response we should have to another’s sin. But we should show compassion as Jesus did with the woman in this example. We should encourage one another to turn away from sin not condemn or reject another for sin. If we forgive one another for their sin the Lord will forgive us for our own sins as it is said in Matthew 6:14.
Father God, help me to be free of judgement. Help me to not point fingers at my neighbors sins for my own hands are not clean. I myself am a sinner. I do not wish to be a hypocrite in your eyes. Forgive me for condemning others in the past and help me to be merciful to the sins of others in the future. Help me to help my brothers and sisters turn away from sin instead of condemning them for it. Forgiveness is the way you taught us Lord. May I be merciful and forgiving towards my neighbors in Jesus name amen.