“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:7b; NASB
One quality of a true friend is they don’t judge you when you open up about your mistakes, failures, and feelings. They will try their best to give you an encouraging word, guidance or whatever they feel you need. If we feel judged by someone, we will never open up to them, and will never trust them with our personal trials or failings. In this passage, Jesus is introducing a new concept to the Jewish leaders. It is God’s grace.
Here was a woman caught in adultery. Someone actually caught her in the act! Guilty as charged! No trial necessary! According to the Law, both she and the adulterer were to be put to death (see Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22). So the scribes and the Pharisees brought her to Jesus for His opinion on the matter. They did this to test Him “so they might have grounds for accusing Him” (vs.6). Jesus’ response required them to look at themselves first before point the finger at someone else. They all walked away and there was no one left to condemn her. Jesus finally told her to “go and sin no more” (vs.11).
There are too many people in our churches every week that have real problems and issues they don’t dare reveal to their church friends for fear of appearing less than a real Christian. There are church goers with marriages on the brink of divorce, physical abuse in their homes, and addictions in the families, and they are afraid to cry out for fear of judgment by their fellow church members.
This cannot continue if we are to become what we are called to be. There is not one person who has ever lived, except Jesus, that could throw the first stone at that woman. Paul said it plainly:
“Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” (Rom. 2:1)
God is the Judge. We are all sinners saved by God’s grace. We are to judge the sin, not the sinner. When someone is doing something that is wrong, we must call them out on their behavior and be willing to stand with them in prayer as they repent and change. Once there is evidence of repentance, we are to let it go without holding on to any ill feelings. If you notice a fellow Christian being judgmental, confront them with love, then pray for them without being judgmental yourself.
We all have a tendency to pass judgment on others. Try to be aware of when you’re falling into this destructive mindset and pray for God’s grace in overcoming it. You will be blessed for your effort and find that God will use you as a vessel for His love for someone in need.
Have a great week and God bless.