WEDNESDAY, JULY 22
“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.”
John 8:7-9 (NLT2)
GENTLENESS: ALWAYS KEEP MY OWN WEAKNESS IN VIEW
An explorer in the deepest Amazon suddenly finds himself surrounded by a bloodthirsty group of natives. Upon surveying his situation, he says quietly to himself, “I’m toast.” A ray of light breaks forth from the sky and a voice booms out: “No, you are NOT toast. Pick up that stone in front of you and bash the head of the chief.” So, the explorer picks up the stone and proceeds to bash in the head of the chief. He is breathing heavily while standing above the sprawled out-chief. Surrounding him are the 100 native warriors with a look of shock on their faces. The voice booms out again: “Okay…NOW you’re toast!”
Jesus answers the request to stone this woman for adultery by saying whoever hasn’t sinned gets to throw the first stone. He was in effect reminding her accusers of their own sinfulness. And being reminded of their sinfulness changed how they responded to the woman who had been caught sinning.
Philip Yancey, in his book ‘What’s so Amazing about Grace?’ comments that this incident illustrates that the world is not divided into righteous and unrighteous people but into sinners who admit that they are sinners and sinners who deny that they are sinners. Some sins are secret and hidden, some sins are confessed.
Sometimes the church may be guilty of shooting its own wounded. Jesus wants the body of Christ to be a place where sinners can come and find other sinners who will gently lead them to Christ. As Christians we should always remember where we were before Christ when it comes to dealing with others who are not walking with Christ. Who is the person closest to you that is living in major sin? Ask God how He wants you to address them and their sin.
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
Ephesians 4:2 (NLT2)