1 Samuel 15:1‐16:23; John 7:53‐8:20; Psalm 110:1‐7; Proverbs 15:8‐10
Are You Without Sin?
Of all the offenses in the Jewish law, or Hallakhah, adultery was a one of the most heinous, and was punishable by death. While the Pharisees and Scribes were right to point out that under the law the adulterous woman should be put to death, where was the man with whom she committed such an act, who was just as guilty? The law required that the man with whom she committed adultery also be killed. Roman law, however, forbade a Jew from sentencing someone to death. Still, the Scribes and Pharisees taunted Jesus by demanding that He condemn her. Jesus knew the Law better than they. Having used only one finger, He had carved the Law itself into stone; the Ten Commandments. While onlookers gathered around Him to witness His response again, using only His one finger, Jesus bent down to write.
No one knows what Jesus wrote but perhaps to remind them, He wrote down the ninth Commandment:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
He then stood up and said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And He bent down a second time to write. Maybe He wrote the names of all the sinners gathered, for He knew them to be so, or even perhaps their sins. Whatever it was, His action turned condemnation into shame, and the self-righteous accusers turned away.
During our own spiritual journeys, let us be reminded when we fall into sin that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn anyone to death. Jesus came to give life. As the light of the world, God is well-pleased with who we are but, even more importantly, with whom we are becoming. Instead of looking into a mirror and seeing only our sinful natures, let us instead begin to see ourselves as God sees us… the beloved child who turns away from sin and rushes into His loving arms to receive, not condemnation, but abundant grace and love.
The Rev. Danielle DuBois Morris
College Park, FL