CAST THE FIRST STONE – #TGL
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” These are the words of Christ and these are the same words the road to hell is currently being decorated with, and folks are being finessed to take that route daily.
A pastor opens his mouth to condemn stealing, the first response he gets is “judge not, that ye be not judged”. And when Lady Preacher speaks against fornication, she’ll hear “she that is without sin should cast the first stone”.
It is true that we as Christians aren’t supposed to walk around with a judgemental or “holier than thou” attitude, at the same time, we ain’t supposed to tolerate and frolic with sin either. I’ll liken it to kids dressed in white who already have bits of stains on their clothes, getting to a mud pit on their way from school. The fact that their whites are stained already, does that permit them to go ahead and roll in the mud?
Everyone who has had to wash out the stains on kids white before would rather their child comes home with just the earlier stains and leave out the mud, than the child comes home grinning from ear to ear and telling you their cloth was already stained before they got in the mud.
You’ll appreciate and maybe even applaud your child for resisting the urge to join their peers in the pit. Same way Jesus knows you might be struggling with sin, but he’ll appreciate you choosing to come to him for help than surrendering yourself to the power of sin, and wallowing in it.
On a side note, the lady caught in the act was brought to Christ. She wasn’t continuing in the act right in the presence of Jesus, neither was she arguing or fighting with her accusers. She wasn’t even asking for mercy, or claiming to be right. She wasn’t comparing herself to David’s marriage to multiple wives or Solomon having several concubine, she wasn’t pointing to how historically, Rehab who God had used in sheltering the Israelite spies was a prostitute from Jericho and definitely not a virgin. Most instructive to me, it wasn’t from her tongue that the phrase “he that is without sin should cast the first stone” rolled out.
Jesus said those words, her accusers were burdened by the guilt of their own sins, they turned and walked away one after the other, I don’t think there could have been a more golden opportunity for her to pass a snide remark at them. She could have given an ironic cheer to them or a mocking round of applause. Instead, silence. She hadn’t lifted her head defiantly, she hadn’t uttered a word in response, she had barely moved a foot since she wasn’t put under the spotlight.
After the last footstep had shamefully or reluctantly or angrily or vengefully faded away, she was still there waiting. It was Jesus Christ who spoke first. She knew the severity of her crime, the fact that she had just escaped death in the most unbelievable way possible was not misplaced on her nor taken for granted by her. The urge to say “thank you” and get it all over with so that the remaining staring eyes around could finally leave her wasn’t even there.
“Where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned you?”
“No man Lord.”
“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
That is one of the most underrated ending to a deliverance story ever. And a love story too.
Firstly, her response was filled with humility, and a decision not to complicate issues nor exonerate herself. She didn’t try to implicate her lover who we still have no idea about, she didn’t ask Jesus if he himself or anyone else for that matter was without sin.
She wasn’t condemned, she had another chance at life, she was one of the few who had seen death in the eyes and lived to tell the tale. Can you imagine the relief and joy that flooded her heart as she heard those words?
Go and sin no more.
Not go and commit adultery again and when caught tell them “He that is without sin, cast the first stone.” Not go living the rest of your life with a “get out of jail free card” where sin is concerned.
Go and sin no more.
If after hearing those words, she walks away and the next day gets caught right in bed with another man again, what do you think will be the consequence?
What if she calmly tells them or even yells at the top of her voice that “he who is without sin should cast the first stone” do you think she’ll live to tell the story?
If it were impossible to live a life free of sin, would Jesus Christ have told her to “Go and sin no more.”?
Do you want to live your life consistently having to quote “he who is without sin should cast the first stone” or do you want to “go and sin no more”?