Friday, August 17, 2012

The First Stone

I apologize for displaying a
physical representation of Jesus.
I do not wish to offend anyone nor
further perpetuate the "White Jesus"
stereotype.  I am sure many of us will
be very surprised one day when we
meet Him face to face.
There has recently been a lot of debate and political posturing lately.  Sure, I know it is an election season.  I will NOT talk politics here.  I will write for a few moments about the controversy involving Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's statements.

First off: My time living in Georgia and being near Chick-fil-A restaurants was a great thing, LOVE the food there.

Second: I am trying to determine exactly how politicians were surprised that a private company, which is run on very high Christian values, is NOT open on Sundays, who donates millions to Christian organizations and schools would have a president who is opposed to homosexual marriage or the changing of the traditional definition of marriage.

Third: I believe a lot of the hype has to do simply with the fact it is an election year and the President has "evolved in his stance" on the subject, which trickles down to all on that side of the aisle.

Before I go any further, let me tell you my belief.  I believe homosexuality is a sin.  I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.  I do NOT believe it is any more heinous than any other sin.  Sin IS sin.  All shapes, all sizes, all flavors are contrary to God's Word.

We are not under the law any more, we are under grace, but that does mean that the law no longer applies.  It means that you ARE still guilty, but you can be forgiven if you repent (TURN AWAY) from your sin.

Let's take a spin through the Bible so I can show you where I am here:

John 8:1-11 (KJV):

"1. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.  2 . 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.  3. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4. they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.  5. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6. 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.  7. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.  8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  9. 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.  10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
Being a curious fellow, I have often wondered what Jesus was writing in the sand.  The Bible never specifically tells us, though there is much conjecture.  I have two theories that separately could be true, though I think that combined would have been a powerful statement.  I will elaborate.

Jesus, being omniscient (all-knowing) had this ploy of the Pharisees pegged the moment they approached Him (ok, from the beginning of  In verses 4 and 5 they lay down their case that they are presenting.  Generally they are claiming that this woman was caught in the act of adultery (Leviticus 20:10 KJV "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.")
[If I were Jesus, I would have asked "if she was caught in the act, where is the other party? Does not the law state the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death?" But I digress...]

I like verse 6 where Jesus just stoops down as though to pay them no mind and starts writing in the sand.  Here is where the first of my writing theories comes in: I think that while they were laying down their case He was writing the 10 commandments from the tablets there in the sand.  So in verse 7 He has laid down the groundwork for His comment, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." 

Now I am not endorsing Ray Comfort and The Way of The Master, as I think that method of evangelism is confrontational, not that Jesus didn't confront at times.  I do like the fact that the confrontation is based on the truth in the law and the foundational verses he uses are the 10 commandments and Galatians 3:24 (" Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.")  We have to know we are lost in order to be found (Amazing Grace reference...).

After this writing and laying the challenge down, He goes back to writing.  [This is where the second part of the theory and the combined application comes in.] I envision Jesus as He again starts writing, that the first thing He does, is clear the slate of the words of the law He has previously written.  Then, with great big letters to cover the entire area the law was located, He writes ONE WORD: LOVE.

Jesus was ALL about summing the law up with this one word.  It is the most powerful word.  Love conquers all.  Galatians 5:14 and Jesus Himself several times in the Gospels state "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

THAT is the moment I think the crowd started to fade away.  When they are gone, Jesus confronts the adulteress,  "where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?"  He knew they had departed.  I love her response in verse 11 and can interpret it 2 ways in my slightly off-kilter manner.  She replies, "No man, Lord."  My first interpretation is that she is telling Jesus, "no one here but You Lord have convicted me by the law you wrote in the sand".  And the other perhaps more applicable way, "no Lord, just this woman, a sinner, who acknowledges her sin to you and wishes to repent and be cleansed."   Those three words, "No man, Lord" convey so much to me.

But the BEST BEST part here is the last statement by Jesus, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."  Jesus loves us!  Jesus FREES US from our sin.  Jesus doesn't condemn nor does He allow the law to hold sway.  WE CAN BE FORGIVEN!!! Notice what He tells her, "Go, and sin no more."  GO, AND SIN NO MORE! That's it.  Turn away from your former behaviors which were contrary to Me and My Father's Law.

That is how we should approach this and ALL issues where the world wants to change what the Bible says about right and wrong, where we see ANY sin in the life of another.  We should love them, we should guide them to turning away.  We should NOT judge them, that is when we forget the plank in our own eye.

Lord, help me understand that ALL sin is sin.  I am as guilty as anyone of sinning against You for there are none righteous, no, not one.  I daily fall short of Your Glory, but am thankful for the ability to land in Your arms of Grace.  I am enthralled that You can love so extravagantly a lowly sinner such as me.  Your Love is amazing, Your Truth is enduring, You forgiveness knows no bounds.  Allow me the personal Grace to extend to others when they are down and provide me the words to show them You.  Amen.

Rejoice and be glad.


  1. Perfectly stated, from start to finish.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stumble through my little corner of the web. I appreciate comments when ever. Input (even negative) keep me going.

      Rejoice and be glad.