Have you noticed the increasing level of judgmental commentary flooding your social media accounts and your television screen in the middle of a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey? If the natural disaster doesn’t kill you then the stones of judgment offered by anyone with an Internet connection, a computer, and an opinion will finish the job. These death blows expand their fatal sphere of influence when ill-informed brothers and sisters in Christ join the media feeding frenzy wading into the polluted floodwaters of the Internet and begin throwing stones of judgment without thinking.
I noticed something as I prepared a message on the section in John 8 describing the woman caught in adultery. Most of us are familiar with this passage; the Pharisees brought a woman caught in the very act of adultery and put her in front of Jesus. They wanted to stone her to death for her sin until Jesus invited those without sin to throw the first stones.
“When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman”(John 8:9).
Something struck me as I read this. Jesus wasn’t left alone with the woman; Jesus and the woman were together in the middle of a crowd of onlookers after the religious accusers had dropped their stones and left the scene. The crowd was now waiting to see what Jesus would do with this woman and her sin.
Jesus gave us a profound picture of how the Church should live in front of the crowd of culture. If anyone ever wanted to know the difference between an Old and New Testament prophet, this event is a prime example. There will always be people around us who forget we live in a New Covenant with God. God judged everything on the Cross of Christ. Nothing was left out. Although we do experience the consequence of our sin, through confession, repentance, and forgiveness, we can reduce the impact of sin in our life and the lives of other people.
This new way to live our lives was not our idea: it was God’s. God sent Jesus not to judge the world, but to save it. He confronted the hypocrisy of the religious establishment in his day, and they departed with conviction in their hearts. Those remaining were an audience of seekers hungry to know the loving God who stood before them.
Yes, Jesus did tell the woman to go her way and sin no more. But the most profound sound a guilty person will ever hear is the sound of rocks of judgment falling from the hands of their accusers and landing at their feet. The only time we should pick up rocks is to build a memorial to God’s goodness. The rest of the time, rocks belong on the earth, not in our hands.
(Excerpts from the book, The Prophetic Voice.)https://var/web/site/public_html.amazon.com/Prophetic-Voice-Garris-Elkins/dp/0692530118/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480428054&sr=8-1&keywords=garris+elkins