Drop The Stones! (John 8:1-11 KJV)
Drop Those Stones!
“Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives.
And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst.
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lift up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lift up himself, and saw none but the woman; he said unto her, Woman where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her. Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more”(John 8:1-11 KJV).
This is a remarkable account, here is Jesus, the only sinless one in the world and crowd, and He would be the only one who would qualify or have the right to throw the first stone. Yet He chose mercy instead, there is a great application to consider ascertaining and implementing in our lives and there is not a bigger response that can ever be given. If He that had no sin refuses to throw the first stone, what should my response be? Drop the stones!
There are Scribal and Pharisaical ideologies and opinions locked up in our souls which only the Word of God and Spirit of God has the ability to address, reach and reprove. Sometimes more than often, these thoughts can suddenly emerge, and show up in our minds without adequate warning. They have the ability to, and can tempt, and seduce us into judging others to the point of picking up stones, in the mind first, we call them thoughts.
Behind them are intents, which are either good, or bad. First they form in our thinking, and we must take care, and cast these stones down in our mentality for the most part. These thoughts are infectious and can cause defilement if spread through words. We should be compassionate towards others when they miss the mark.
Examining ourselves provide us with balance
The acquiring of balance seen in this story is done by examining ourselves. It really is a full time job being positioned under the microscope of the Word of God, to judge every intent, motive, desire, action, thought, and deed and to honesty determine, whether all of them lines up with the Spirit of God, try the spirit by the Spirit to see if the thoughts forming are of God.
Seek the equity and balance Jesus offers, when He states, if you are without sin, go ahead and throw the stones, but remember unless our righteousness exceeds the Scribes and Pharisees we may be in the wrong kingdom and may be slipping into darkness. Watch and pray! considering ourselves, lest we too be tempted.
Watch out for this attitude, just as in the chapter in the Gospel of John, drop the stones. It is amazing the trickery, guile and deceit in baiting this woman. You do and should wonder who goes to such extremes, as to catch a sinner in the very act. The nature of God is holy and He doesn’t look towards sin, He looks away from it, why shouldn’t we? If you find yourself looking towards the sins other committed or are committing, drop the stones, and be willing to look away to mercy for them and prayer that can and will change them.
The looking away from sin will take the Lord Jesus Christ on every level and in every situation. Taking up our crosses and following Him. Only you can decide to put the stones down and do not cast or throw them at or towards anyone, not even yourself. Jesus warned us that unless our righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees we will not enter into the kingdom of heaven of which He is the King.
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20 KJV).
Our righteous King gives us admonitions that have the ability to renew and cleanse our hearts and minds as it aligns our lives with the righteousness which is of God.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thin own eye?
(Matthew 7:1-4 KJV)
The Greek word for beam is dolios pronounced dol-ee-os and it means deceitful and guileful as to use to bait someone. How can we say to someone, let me pull the mote out of your eye and behold a beam is in our own. I have heard it taught that a mote is actually smaller than a beam. Imagine that telling someone that they need to remove something smaller than what is in our own lives to the point of not examining ourselves first. That does take a lot of gall, huh? First do what is necessary for us not to walk in judgment which would ricochet, and we will receive the same measure which we give. Personally, I will admit and confess it is a full time job to keep myself in check. Prayer for my brothers and sisters is a more compelling idea, than judgment, because I know that God can change them and me and keep us out of the judgment seat and allow us to bow at the mercy seat and be empowered with kindness and compassion.
Don't throw pretty little rocks either
Of course, Jesus continues and goes on with the exhortation in the verses which follow and concludes this rebuke with the fact that this attitude is hypocritical; it isn’t just a critical attitude, it is excessively blowing things out of proportion, and is a low opinion of others which is beneath standard and a hype which creates negative attention about someone else but excuses oneself.
You may say, well I don’t think catching someone in the act of adultery is blowing things out of proportion. And you would be right, but look at the extremes it takes to catch someone in the act of adultery. It is not equal to hearing about it, someone actually saw it. That is deceitful and full of guile and suggests that they went to great measures to bait her.
Jesus teaches me not to excuse myself at the expense of others, drop the stones; not to blame others and let myself go free, drop the stones, but let them go free by forgiving others their trespasses. Jesus teaches us so many things which we need to take heed to, because they are kingdom principles for living in His kingdom and under His authority and domain; and to beware of the entrapments and ensnaring postures and attitudes of which we are not exempt from possessing.
The pharisaical approach is not a good one, drop the stones! The Scriptures plainly transmit that if you offend in one point of the law you are guilty of breaking them all. Now, that is a checkmate, we have been made able ministers of the New Testament, because the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. We will see in the coming account how the letter kills in the story of Stephen; it literally got him stoned to death, as his accusers stacked the deck against him and he was innocent. We can also see in the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery, how the spirit spared her life, and she was guilty according to this story, there was at least an eyewitness.
As we can see throughout scriptures and all of Jesus’ encounters and interactions with the Scribes and Pharisees, that they weren’t very merciful, mercy triumphs over judgment, as it did in the case of the woman in this story. We are conforming into the image of the living God and His mercy endures forever. If you ever reflect upon the mercy you have received, it produces a heart of mercy for others, because you know first hand what mercy did for you and what it will do in the lives of others. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Freely as you have received, freely give. We must put on merciful garments and wear them because they were purchased for us through the shedding of precious blood.
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:36-37 KJV). Drop those pretty little rocks too.
Don't throw pretty ones either, sugar coded judgment, that claims and suggests that the transformation into a butterfly, is complete, while it is an ongoing changing process, change the thinking and drop critical thoughts of others and apply them first towards self and go and sin no more. Jesus is the greatest! Have you ever thought of the word hypocritical. Hypo is a prefix which means below or beneath, it carries the connotation of a two-faced and insincere person. Being critical of others involves acting as a critic; (one who is a faultfinder, opponent, enemy and detractor), now does that sound like the character of Jesus Christ.
Watch and pray if you find yourself always finding fault of others, and I would admonish repentance on the spot, because if you allow this attitude to persist, you will throw stones any time you feel like it.
You who is without sin, throw the first stone
We must renew our minds by the Word of God, and supersede old thoughts with better and more productive and positive ones about ourselves and others. In this story, Jesus gives good advice and when followed, we will also drop our stones, just as the religious leaders of that day. Jesus challenges us through this situation, when we choose to see and hear the implications. If we are without sin, then be the first to throw the stone, there is admonition and corrective measures we must follow in adhering to this crucial point. He who is without sin, you be the first to cast a stone at this woman. Will there ever be a time in our Christian lives where we will have the legal right under God to cast the first stone? Not without casting it at own selves.
There is always a speck in my own eye which disqualifies me from beholding the faults of others and then mercy takes over and transports me to the other side where compassions fail not, and great is His faithfulness unto me. My desire is that mercy and grace hold my hands and be my companions all the way through, I desire to have compassion, because I know how sin afflicts and how I was afflicted by its nasty grasp on my life and mercy extended His outstretched hands to me. Instead of picking up stones to throw, build an altar and use those stones as a memorial of how, mercy pleaded your case, and you’d rather choose forgiveness and use it as a threshold to meet with the Heavenly Father, heart to heart in His mercy which endures forever. Remember the mercy seat, Jesus is seated there, now.
Back to our story in John 8
Where are those your accusers, has no man condemned you? She said, no man Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. The weapon we are told to use is the two-edged sword, it cuts both ways when we use it correctly, and not for a stone throwing event. The Word of God is cutting sin away in us, so that we go and sin no more. The intent of the heart will determine, whether we intend to use the Word of God to throw stones or are we using it to edify, and cleanup our own messes. So that God can change the mess into a message. Instead of casting stones, we should use that energy to cast down the imagination that is behind the thoughts which erected it. Avoid throwing stones at our brothers, and sisters and everyone else, and in doing so, thereby, comply with the Word. We are a doer of the Word at that point.
This is truly a principle to confront, and apply the ointment given to heal our thinking patterns, which judge others. Judgment is a necessary quality that we all need, yet, not to the point of misapplication. I have found it to be of great truth, when I judge myself that I am working out my own salvation, and mercy will shine through me. I was only given my own life to live, and can only direct others to the same Word, and it means the same for all of us. All judgment ultimately lies with God, who tries the hearts and searches the reins.
We too, must do what Jesus did within our own minds. When thoughts arise, and they will, which are judgmental, and are accusations against others even when they are guilty, write on the ground, or today write on paper, and deflect all accusations against the brethren. We must regulate our thoughts to comply with the Word, or we too will form thoughts which are stones to throw, even if only in the thought process.
The mind is the primary battle ground, if we do not heed this warning, the next thing to follow will be words that support those thoughts. We must tell our souls, as well as our flesh, to go and sin no more. This story was an external picture and scenario, which was being played out in real life, which could have led to death, if all who opposed threw the stones that they thought to hurl.
Jesus adverted intentions for potential hurt, and death of the woman, by reminding these accusers that they were not without sin; He also changed their stances, and actions by addressing the need in them to judge according to the law. They knew what the Law of Moses stated, and were ready to carry it out. They just couldn’t see that Jesus was fulfilling the law through a merciful heart, and saving a life, instructing it to go and sin no more.
Drop the stones by repenting before you enter the prayer closet
Often times, we say things that we shouldn’t and then forget what we have spoken into effect. Entering into prayer demands a stance and posture, which requires repentance and real sorrow for any of the words we speak against anyone, their situations, circumstances and anything contrary to them being blessed. I have found that speaking about any situation which pertains to anyone requires intercession all of the time, and that talking to the Lord first and foremost, is always and always will be a better choice to make.
When we tell the story to the Lord, we know He has the power to change things; and that He intercepts, changes, and halts the progress of what is happening in the lives of others, as well as in us. Telling the story to others leaves too much room for discussion, and dialogue, which are not really helping them. All of the intricacies of the situation can easily be forgotten by the time you reach the prayer closet, and usually you can forget that you have spoken against the person, and not for them, rather than pray, or declare into and over their lives words that can change them, and their scenario, through the power of the Holy Spirit, whose main concern is to lead them towards God's holiness.
Speaking words that are not full of grace, and for the good of a person, and then going into prayer is dangerous, because you may not remember that you’ve spoken anything against them, if you don’t walk in repentance of what you say, and speak which is not pleasing to God. Are you speaking what God’s Word says about them, or what they can become in Christ Jesus? If you mean that you are for their total good, unless there is something in you that applauds their demise? speak in accordance with what you desire for them. We can’t have it both ways, either we mean to bless them, or curse them in the way. We will have to personally decide which one it will be. We don’t even have the legal right to judge another man’s servant, let alone the servants of God. Whose blood was shed for their salvation, ours or Jesus’?
Primarily, there will be occasions, when we reason that judgment is in order, that kind of reasoning invokes a judgmental attitude, but once the conscience gains all the facts, and insights, into the situation it determines if it is right, or wrong, and judgment is rendered. Judgment is already experiential by the conscience as it determines right, from wrong. The role of the conscience is complete; it doesn’t need to place blame anywhere.
Understanding our transformation process, and renewal of our minds is essential, we will at some point comprehend that judgment is fully needed in our own personal lives, and that is a full time effort, so that we are changing into the image of Christ. If we give in to judgment, it forms thoughts which form imaginations, which forms words; then it is up to us to determine whether our attitude is exalting itself against the knowledge we have about God. Failure to cast down vain imaginations will lead to thought provoking words of judgment, which are really equal to picking up stones, and getting ready to throw them at folk. When we see others overtaken in a fault, if we consider ourselves to be spiritual, we are to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, and consider ourselves lest we too be tempted.
Drop the stone of blame
Drop the stones means stop blaming, and waiting for someone to fail, be on standby to pray them through, desiring that they sin no more. Don’t magnify the sin committed; speak newness, the will of God inspired changes into that situation. The scribes and Pharisees had to be keeping a record and a close eye on this woman or they had spies to do so, in order to catch her in the very act of adultery. That is downright ugliness to look upon. This stance could only have been for the sake of magnifying the sin, and wanting to see sin pay its entire wages, death. The wages of sin will always be death, choose the voice of life encouraging such a one to go, and sin no more. Are we going to spread the fact that sin has afflicted someone, or pray that the affliction departs at once?
Jesus literally ignored what those accusers were telling Him. There is practical application in that for us. We should put on our helmet at this stage of drama, and cover our minds and ears, so that we guard our hearts with all diligence, because out of our hearts flow the issues of life. Put down the stones, or someone will get hurt or suffer death.
Stones kill and wound
(Acts 6-7) In this account in the Book of Acts; Stephen was one of the chosen men of honest report and full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom appointed to oversee business given by the twelve apostles at a time of great need, which freed them to give themselves continually to prayer, and the ministry of the word. Stephen was full of faith and power and did great wonders and miracles among the people. There arose those of the synagogue disputing with him. They were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke. So they suborned (induced unlawfully and deceitfully and bribed) men, which said, that they had heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. Both of those accusations were treasonous actions against the law and God and the false accusers knew that very well.
These were lies told to charge and defame Stephen’s good name and character. They stirred up the people, and elders and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to council, and set up false witnesses, which said, this man ceases not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law: Sound familiar, same things that had been done earlier to the Lord Jesus Christ, before the crucifixion.
The scripture tells us that all those who sat in the council looked steadfastly at him, and saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Stephen is then questioned by the high priest as to whether the accusations were true. Stephen gave a respectful dissertation and exposition from Abraham to David and when they heard all of his words they were cut to heart, and gnashed their teeth at him. Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. They cast Stephen out of the city, and stoned him. Stephen never lost faith, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, and when he had said this, he fell asleep. Stephen followed Jesus to the bitter end, taking up his cross and following Jesus. Stephen’s prayer was the same prayer just worded differently, but the same intent of the heart that Jesus spoke on the cross. This should always be our prayer too.
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV).
"Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60 KJV).
Stephen states truth in all humility and it still cost him his life, but not his salvation! I can only imagine the pain of several people throwing stones at a physical body until it falls to the ground dead and lifeless. The pain to me seems insurmountable and to be innocent, hurts even more. Moreover, whether guilty or innocent, rock throwing is hazardous. Drop the stones in your mind; let it begin there before someone gets hurt. There is a difference in warning, admonishing, and exhorting someone and sitting in the seat of scorn with your rock solid alibi and decision to stone whoever you find out or catch in the act, in the very act of sin. Of course, I will never understand who would want to catch anyone in the very act of sin. Sin is not something we should want to gaze at, that is abnormal. Scribal and Pharisaical setups happen all the time. Pointing out someone else’s short comings, which more than likely started in the mind, before manifesting in the flesh or natural realm. Before speaking judgment, nine times out of ten, it was a thought first.
In this story in Acts, the entrapment, guile, deceit, to the degree of causing death is distinguished, in both accounts there is an element of guilt and innocence. Jesus was physically present and deflected the stoning of the woman taken in adultery, but was not physically but spiritually present in the stoning of Stephen. My pivotal and crucial summation, to these types of mindsets which promote harm to character and eventually to life, is to encourage and exhort please drop the stones, before you hurt somebody. If you plan to pray for anyone, don’t wait until you have spoken against them, make the throne of grace the first stop, not the latter because if you forget what you have spoken against them, and you don’t remember to repent, your words are stones out there in the atmosphere defying gravity. Only you can drop your stones. Repent of all words which do not edify and glorify God, and if you are without sin, be the first to hurl your stone or drop those stones. May mercy and grace walk with you and be your close companions, as the Holy Spirit counsels, teaches and completes His work through your lives.
Watch Your Words
Speak the solution and not the problem
Jesus said, He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. This picture illustrates stones being thrown even after a prayer for protection, the young man first prays and because he can sense oppression, asks why God? but can't see that Jesus is blocking and withstanding all the stones being thrown; and protecting him from all the hurt these stones are intended to do. When asked why, Jesus replies, did I miss one. Throwing stones against each other is likened to a house divided against itself not standing. Make a better choice and choose not to throw stones, don't judge, don't talk about others missing the mark, be the solution and not a large part of the problem. Take heed to your words, you can't take them back and when they are negative words, they really are stones you are throwing. Beloved watch and prayer that you enter not into the temptation to stone your brothers and sisters and others. God is unconditional love which never fails.
Pray with me
I drop my stones first in my heart, then in my soul, and I lift my heart and soul to You. I trust You to complete the work that You've begun in me. Let me not be ashamed and let not the enemies associated with unrighteous judgment dictate to me to pick up any stones in thought, word or deed or to triumph over me. Wash and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Make me to always see and know in every situation that I do not qualify to throw stones at anyone, not even myself. Fill me with new compassions and mercies, so that I do all that Jesus admonishes me and go and sin no more, walking and working out my own salvation every day and in every way to Your glory. Thank You Righteous and Holy Father for cleansing me of this contamination. I praise You.
Finally - Food for thought
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Pick up a pen and pad instead and write the beautiful thoughts the Holy Spirit gives you, how do I know you probably ask? Everything, He speaks is note-worthy, He just needs to use your hands.