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Casting Stones

John 8:3-9 – “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”

When we cast stones at others in condemnation of sin in their lives we are, in essence, condemning that person to judgment and death, just as the scribes and Pharisees did to the woman caught in the act of adultery.   In John 3:17-18, Jesus said of himself, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”   The scribes and Pharisees did not believe in the name of God’s one and only Son, therefore they stood condemned.   This is what made them equal to the woman they were condemning of sin.  In telling them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him cast the first stone,” I believe Jesus wasn’t only referring to the committed sins in their lives, but to the sin of unbelief that was in their hearts.   In Romans 3:23 we are told that, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”   The only sin that now condemns a man and separates one who is condemned from one who is not, is that of unbelief in the name of God’s son.   In telling the woman, “Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus was making a distinction between what now condemned a man and what did not.  He came to save the world, not condemn it.

It is important to note that while Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, neither did he ignore or condone her sin.   He instructed her to, “go and sin no more.”  Scripture does not tell us if she did as she was instructed.  The choice was hers, as were the consequences if she continued in sin.   In John 5:14 Jesus warned the lame man whom he had healed to, “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”  Just because we are no longer condemned by sin through God’s grace to us in Jesus, does not mean we are exempt from the consequences of our sins.   But when we get ready to pick up that stone of condemnation,  before we throw it, we need to remember no matter what sin may be in a person’s life, Jesus did not come to condemn them of it, he came to save them from it.

My son and grandson love to fish.  Whenever they catch a large fish or have a really good haul, they proudly send me a picture saying, “Look what I caught today!”  Jesus didn’t call us to cast stones, he called us to cast lines; fishing lines.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew 4:19). What a difference we might see if instead of casting stones of our own judgment and condemnation, we cast the line of God’s forgiveness and grace instead!   Perhaps we too could proudly hold up our “fish” to our Heavenly Father and say, “Look what I caught today!”




Have you been casting stones today
causing hurt by what you say
Have you thrown a word or two
judging someone less than you

The very words which you impart
reveal the truth of your own heart
And that stone that you would throw
reveals the truth of your own soul

Be careful of the words you say
they might return to you some day
Try and keep them nice and sweet
they some day could be yours to eat

Wouldn’t we all like to have known
the words Jesus wrote to stop a stone
Perhaps he wrote, “How about you?”
“Are you perfect in all you do?”

I wonder if your sins be known
would you still pick up that stone
Or would you turn and walk away
having nothing more to say

Would you in judgment throw that stone
If God’s grace to your sins be known
Or would you perhaps change your mind
drop that stone and cast a line?

John 8:3-9 – “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last.” 


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