The Jewish leaders were always trying to find reasons to accuse Jesus. They always came up with questions they thought were so controversial that His answers would trap Him or back Him into a corner. On one such occasion, they brought a woman to Him who was supposedly caught in adultery. Their question was, “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” (John 8:5 NIV). Jesus’ response was, “Let him who have no sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7 NIV). His response was straight to the point; they did not need any explanation or interpretation. Although He didn’t, Jesus could have concluded His response by saying, “But let him who has any sin drop his stone.” That of course would have been every last one of them. Although He didn’t, they each walked away without casting a single stone at the woman.
How about you, and how about me? Are we throwing stones at other sinners while we are not batting an eye about our own sins? Sin is sin, no matter how we categorize it. You and I have not been given the responsibility or authority to decide which sin should be tolerated, and which one should be punished. Let us stop judging and pointing fingers at others. When the Bible says: the wages of sin is death (see Romans 3:23), it does not differentiate one sin from the other. According to 1 John 3:4, “Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God” (NLT). Sin is sin!
Our charge concerning others is to love them as ourselves (see Matthew 19:19), and to win them for the kingdom of God (Matthew 28:19-20); our responsibility is not to pass judgment.
In the book of Luke, Jesus told His disciples, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned (see Luke 6:37); “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?” (Luke 6:41 NIV). If Jesus, the only righteous One, with the power and authority to judge and condemn shows mercy (John 8:10-11), who are we to be judging and condemning?
Showing mercy does not mean condoning. We can, and should come along side each other in love, to rebuke, encourage, and build up. The apostle Paul puts it this way, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently” (Galatians 6:1 NIV). So fellow sinners, let us all drop our stones!