On Throwing Stones

John 8:7-11 WEB

But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.” [8] Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. [9] They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. [10] Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” [11] She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”


Jesus explained the Old Testament and the New Testament in one act. He found a way of escape for this woman who was about to be stoned. He said those with no sin should throw their stones. Yet, in the entire crowd, not one stood up and claimed to be qualified to throw stones.

Jesus could have thrown a stone. He did not. In fact, he didn’t even look at her for most of the exchange. Instead, he was stooped down with his head to the ground drawing in the sand. He deliberately took a posture of humility when he stooped to the ground. Likewise, when he stood, he made the woman equal to himself. She was not abased further by Jesus. She was given mercy and grace and then told not to sin.

Jesus gives this ravished soul what it needs, validation. Jesus stood up and made himself equal to the woman. Now, she could hold her head up, for Jesus was talking to her.  He was not talking about her or down to her. No, he was talking to her with respect and courtesy. He validated her worth by treating her decently.

And at the very end. Not the beginning, not the middle, the end, Jesus tells her to stop sinning. I feel quite certain that is what she did. Jesus develops a relationship with her and then boldly tells her to stop sinning.


Lord Jesus, please help me grow in courtesy and kindness so that I may win some for you. Help me grow in courtesy so that my relationships will be blessed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Slow, like Jesus

John 8:1-8 WEB

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. [2] Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them. [3] The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the middle, [4] they told him, “Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. [5] Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do you say about her?” [6] They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of. But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger. [7] But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.” [8] Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.


Jesus is humble. We cannot know what Jesus wrote in the dirt. What is significant is he took the time to hear from God before he answered. Jesus had enough humility to slow down and listen before he blurted out the first thing that came to mind. I wonder though, why did Jesus take time here when in other places he does not? The answer is probably simple, a human’s life was on the line. This time there was more at stake than Jesus’ reputation. Another human’s life is in his hands. So, he slows down. He doesn’t presume upon his anointing.

He had the humility to pray for an answer. After he answered the Pharisees, he stoops down again. This is the one that intrigues me. I can understand why he took time to answer, but why is he taking time now? I suspect it was to say thanks to the Father. If I were in that situation, I would be profoundly grateful to the Father for giving me wisdom. And despite his divinity, Jesus is also human. That means he had human frailties.

If Jesus was bound to human frailties, how much more are we? I see Jesus taking extra time when another human beings’ welfare is on the line. It makes me realize, I need to slow down when I am giving answers that impact others. I used to drive the church van. While working with the van ministry I watched people fall away if any word of direction was given to them on the bus. For example, if someone brought an open container, we would have to tell them they could not bring it on the van.

People would get offended, and we would not see them again. Then one day, a woman with 3 rowdy children held the bus for 20 minutes before they were all on board. I did not want to lose this family. So, instead of saying something I went home and fasted for two weeks. I asked the Father to go before me and help me say what I needed to say to keep the van running smoothly.

When I brought the subject up, she was receptive to what I said. She did not get upset and fall away. Instead, she changed her behavior and started being ready on time to go to church. It was a profound experience for me because it highlighted how precious every person is to God. It taught me to go slow when I am interacting with others. More, it taught me to take time to first hear from the Father.


Lord Jesus, please help me grow in humility that I would always go slow and wait for you, especially when another’s welfare is involved. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.