As he [Jesus] was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
Jesus’ response revealed his heart for all of us. Jesus, the only one with the right to condemn the woman’s actions showed love and mercy. At the same time reminding the religious leaders of their sinful nature. It is easy to identify with the woman shamed by sin made public. The part of me that could identify with those holding the stones was convicted.
All my life I have been a news junkie, I like to stay informed of the latest world events. I especially love podcasts and talk radio. As of two years ago, my listening habits began to change. I realized I was informed. However, it was also influencing how I viewed others. In my opinion, much of the news had become stone throwing. Who was the latest person or group to get caught in sin? The more salacious, the better, their misdeeds were entertainment for others. Although I didn’t join the stone throwers, through “likes,” “shares,” or forwards, often I participated in my heart.
For me, the inner struggle is the judging of groups I don’t agree with, people I think reject my beliefs or skin color. In reality it’s people who sin differently than I do through lifestyle or group affiliation. I thank God for placing me in situations where my judgments are exposed. Interactions with people very different from me have allowed me to see the stone in my heart and bring me to my knees.
We are called to a higher standard. There are places in all of our hearts that tend to reach for a stone. I praise God softening those spots allowing us the ability to love even our fellow sinner.
17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other[a] because he loved us first.
1 John 4:17-19New Living Translation (NLT)