But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 (NIV)
He is teaching. They bring a woman before Jesus who was caught in an ugly sin. Their motives are not the purest. They don´t have God at the foremost in their thoughts or their goals. They fall to devious and dark intentions from within. They use the cover of saintliness to disguise their pursuit of worldly standing, structure and gain. They promote God´s laws because within them they find a platform where they can live and move to their own advantage. It matters little what God´s intentions for them are now. It matters little if there is found no charity in their thoughts or actions. They have removed the Holy pursuit of personally making God happy. They have replaced it with striving to appear righteous before men. Now that they have grown bold and secure in their line of legalistic assurance, they would trap Jesus and judge Him according to their system. But does it work?
Behind our religious fanfare, there is a base upon which we all build our brand of faith. The thought of a mighty God rests as a foundation. Problems arise in our doctrines and theology when the God we bow to is made smaller or less effective. When we try to remove from Him the ability to see all that we are doing, we belittle Him. When we try to convince ourselves that He cannot see our ulterior or selfish motives, we fool only ourselves. Nothing we can say, think or do can limit God. When we fail to admit His wisdom and authority, we only limit our chances to having any part with Him. We only prevent ourselves from knowing Him or coming honestly to Him. But the limits are ours, not God´s.
Jesus writes. As He does those with low intentions are exposed. The Saviour gives this dividing line. He says those who have no blame can be the first to accuse. By His words, must the hearer stop to make a quick evaluation? Before proceeding on our chosen direction, must we all have a quick look within? Do we need to see not only if we are following a strict line of conduct, but also an honest assessment of how we look in the eyes of God? Do we tear down the walls of pretense for a moment while the Light of God is shown into every dark corner of our soul? Deep in there, is there anything we can hide from the Lord? Can He see clearly even those things we are able to hide from our own conscious?
Jesus said we are free to accuse if there was nothing within us that could place blame on us too. How many of us does that leave? Who can honestly say that darkness has never found its way into our hearts? Who can say that we are filled with nothing but God´s love for others? We all have fallen. We cannot blame another. It might be nice for us to leave someone else holding all the blame. But take a moment. Get into the very Presence of God. Let His light shine into every last vestige of our heart. Then let Him be the Judge. Are we able to throw stones? Or is it possible that repentance is still a worthy path for us? Is the atonement of Jesus still necessary to pay for our failures? Can we throw stones? Or do we still need a Saviour?
Dear Jesus, others were proud. Others were confident. But we can see that a different state of heart is a better choice. When we stand in Your Light, we see our failures. We see what is written of the secret places of our hearts. Forgive us. Help us. Teach us to turn from our earthly ways. Save us from ourselves and from throwing stones we pray!