John 8 – Stone or Grace
God, may your word pierce my heart and transform me today. Amen.
Read: John 8
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
The scribes and Pharisees were ready with their stones. The woman had sinned; she was caught in the act of adultery. Under the Law of Moses they are to stone her because of her sin. Now all eyes are on Jesus. How is Jesus going to respond to the situation? Jesus bends down and begins to write in the ground. Only after more pleading from the scribes and Pharisees does Jesus stand to tell them that the one without sin should throw the first stone. Then Jesus bends down and returns to his writing. Both the scribes and Pharisees as well as Jesus acknowledged that the woman had sinned, but one group was ready to stone her and the other was ready to offer grace.
We encounter people sin on a daily basis. We will continue to meet, hang out with, and develop relationships with people who have sinned and will sin again. Sin is prevalent in our broken world. When someone we meet sins we have a decision to make however. We can be ready to condemn and criticize. Or, we can be ready to get down in the dirt with an offer of grace. Offering grace does not mean excusing the sin, for even Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. However, there was no condemnation, but grace. The next time you face a difficult situation you have the choice to be more like the scribes and Pharisees or more like Jesus. You can be ready to stone or you can be ready to offer grace.
Questions to Think Through
-Who can you offer grace to today?
-Have you ever experienced grace from someone after you sinned? How did that experience shape you?
-What resonated with you about Jesus’ teaching in John 8?
God, help me be an agent of your grace today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.