Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.
We tend to be so self-righteous. This gospel story is a perfect example. A crowd of men humiliated a woman who they had caught in the “very act” of sin. They brought her before Jesus. They were angry and vindictive, ready to trap Jesus into breaking the law. The letter of the law was to stone the woman to death, and they were more than ready. There was no compassion. They acted as if they were concerned about right and wrong, but they were not. Their only thought was to shame her and trap Jesus. Then the challenge came: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And they slunk away. Unlike her self-righteous accusers, Jesus refused to condemn her. He sent her away and told her to realize she could live differently.
Help me not to judge but to be understanding.
What are our stones of condemnation? Where is our hypocrisy? Do we look around our community, and see people different from ourselves, and judge and condemn them for being different? Where do we see hypocrisy in the words of our leaders compared to their actions?
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.
A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
Hypocrisy and distortion are passing currents under the name of religion.
One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
The devil loves nothing better than the intolerance of reformers.
James Russell Lowell
People are very inclined to set moral standards for others.
Loud indignation against vice often stands for virtue in the eyes of bigots.