Daily Thought for: 11th June

HE THAT IS WITHOUT SIN AMONG YOU, LET HIM FIRST CAST A STONE

John 8. 1-9

Here is another profound statement of the Saviour, often still quoted today. This scene represents one of the cleverest and most diabolical traps that the religious leaders ever set to try to ensnare the Lord.

The woman, brought to be judged and then stoned to death for her adultery, stood alone before the Lord. The man involved? Conveniently not there - perhaps he was a willing participant in this evil scheme. The pompous, self-righteous Jewish leaders had used him to help bait the trap and now he was gone. They stood, waiting to see how Jesus would react. They quoted Moses, condemned the woman, and then said to Jesus, ‘So what do you say?’, v. 5 ESV.

The Master said nothing. He bent down and, with His finger, wrote on the ground. Then, He uttered these weighty words, before bending down a second time to again write on the ground. What He wrote, we may never know. But what He said caused the stones to drop out of hands all around Him that day. The rage of the rulers quickly evaporated. With their hands emptied of stones and their hearts suddenly filled with conviction, they slowly turned around and, without another word, filed away. The oldest of the accusers moved first and, in descending order of age, the rest followed him. Soon, all were gone, except the Lord and the woman.

What a moment! And what a lesson for us! It is often far too easy for many of us to ‘throw stones’. Yet the longer we live, if we are truly honest before the Lord, the more we realize that we really have no right to throw stones at all. As the old hymn reminds us, we are only sinners saved by grace.

Paul learned this lesson. In First Corinthians he acknowledged that he was ‘the least of the apostles’, 1 Cor. 15. 9. As he wrote to the Ephesians, he referred to himself as ‘less than the least of all saints’, Eph. 3. 8. Writing to Timothy, he acknowledged that he was the ‘chief’ of sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15. The more we really know ourselves, the more we should learn how truly wondrous is the saving grace of God!

 

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