Grace Has No Stones (1)

  • The New Testament relays many stories about Jesus and his encounter with women. He was very controversial during His time on earth because He was the only one at the time who came to restore women to their rightful positions in the Kingdom.

    Stories that come to mind are the woman at the well, Jairus’ daughter, the woman with the issue of blood, the woman with the alabaster jar of ointment at Simon’s house, and the woman with an infirmity for 18 years that was loosed. It seems that women are always involved where the Spirit is moving. You only see their exclusion where He is not moving. This was true in Jesus’ time here on earth, and it’s true today.

    These are just a few. There are many more in the Old Testament such as Ruth, Esther, Rahab the Harlot and so on. All these women were used by God and were extended grace. Study their stories. Ruth was a Moabites princes from the wrong land who is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Rahab was a harlot who is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Esther broke all the rules of the Kingdom, yet saved the Kingdom. Great stories of grace.

    One of the greatest stories of grace concerning a woman is the story found in John 8:1-11. Here it is in the Easy To Read version.

    1 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he went back to the Temple area. The people all came to him, and he sat and taught them.

    What a concept. The people ALL came to Him and He sat and taught them.

    The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in bed with a man who was not her husband. They forced her to stand in front of the people. 

    Remember now. It is the law teachers and Pharisees who brought this woman. The religious legalists of the day. They came and interrupted the Truth teaching the truth. Religion will always find a way to interrupt Truth.

    They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses commands us to stone to death any such woman. What do you say we should do?”

    The first thing I want you to see is how quick religious leaders are to point out the law. It’s no different today. If you don’t live up to a set of standards that some self appointed leaders in the church can live up to, they will quickly point out just how bad a Christian you really are.

    In this story, her guilt is beyond question. She was caught having sexual relations with a man. She was guilty of a terrible sin. There’s no question about that.

    This woman was grabbed up from the place where she was engaged in adultery. In their haste to bring this woman to Jesus, she had no time to dress properly or get dressed at all. She is fully exposed physically. Can you imagine the humiliation? She is reduced to nothing more than a whore in the public’s eye. What shame she must have felt.

    I can almost see the faces of the religious legalists that hurriedly brought her to Jesus. Gloating at their positions of religious structure. That’s what religion does. It brings shame to people who make mistakes and imposes judgement on them according to its set of laws and rules. It is nothing more than shame management.

    One question. What’s wrong with this story? Where was her partner? Both were supposed to die for this sin! Was this a set up? Religion is very good at setting people up. Religion will always try to control what it cannot contain. 

    Maybe the man was part of this scheme to attack Jesus. He was probably given time to leave the scene. Regardless of where the man was, this woman was guilty and she deserved to die. Back to the story.

    They were saying this to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch him saying something wrong so that they could have a charge against him. But Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger.

    Here’s the situation. If Jesus let the woman go without condemning her sin, He would be seen as being easy on sin. He could be labeled a compromiser, and could have been arrested for violating the Law. If he endorsed the stoning of this woman, He could then be accused before Rome as an upstart and a seditionist, and He would have destroyed His reputation as being the “friend of publicans and sinners.”

    Again, legalists love to try and put grace and the truth of scripture on trial wherever they can. I’ve had people say to me – “The bible says an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. However, it also says if someone slaps you then you should turn the other cheek and not judge. They will then brazenly pronounce that the bible contradicts itself, to which I reply “No it doesn’t contradict itself, it confirms itself”.

    It’s true. Both of those statements are in the bible, but what have they failed to do? It’s what I call performing the 5 W’s. Who, What, When, Where, and Why. 2 Timothy 2:15 says it this way. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    In other words, an eye for an eye can be found in the book of Judges. An Old Covenant book with directions given to Judges at that time. They were Judges and had the authority to Judge. Maybe today if we followed this direction there would be less crime, but I digress.

    Turn the other cheek is found in the gospels and is direction given to disciples or believers if you will. We do not have the right to judge. The only one that does is Jesus and He doesn’t as we will see as we continue this story.

    Taking scripture out of context is very dangerous, yet it is done over and over for religious expediency. It is done to put people in bondage. Look what happens when you take scripture out of context. In the bible it says “Judas hanged himself”. In the bible it also says “go and do likewise”. It would be very dangerous to take those two scriptures out of context and try to make a truth out of them.

    Okay. So what did Jesus write in the dirt? Here comes the answer. Are you ready for this? It is a great revelation. The answer is I DON’T KNOW! Neither does anyone else.

    The Voice version says He wrote SOMETHING in the dirt. We are not told. Some say He was writing the sins of the rock holders in the dirt. Some say that the sound of his writing was convicting to the rock holders. Here’s another option that I like, but can’t prove. Maybe He was writing things about this shamed woman like, “You’re my daughter. I love you”. “You’re beautiful and priceless to me”. “You’re absolutely worthy of all the Kingdom has for you”. “You are a princess and queen in my eyes”. Just a thought.

    The Jewish leaders continued to ask him their question. So he stood up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned should throw the first stone at her.”

    Now this statement caught them all off guard. It’s like saying to a legalist, “as soon as you die for me and forgive all my wrongs, you can judge me and direct me the way you think I ought to go”.

    Grace will set you free from the tyranny of other people and it will set you free from the tyranny of yourself. When you learn to live in the freedom of the grace of Christ, you’ll drive religious people crazy.

    Then Jesus stooped down again and wrote on the ground. When they heard this, they began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left alone with the woman standing there in front of him.

    I noticed that it was the older men that left first. That’s because with age comes wisdom. The younger crowd had to study what Jesus said a bit longer to figure out they had been out foxed, so to speak.

    10 He looked up again and said to her, “Where did they all go? Did no one judge you guilty?”

    They had all left. The only one standing there before her was Jesus. He was the only One the world has ever known Who was qualified to take up those stones, and execute her for her sins. She was now face to face with the ultimate judge!

    She came to a place where life came down to just Jesus and her. That’s where we are today. It’s just Jesus and His great grace. We all came to that same position at one point in our lives.

    The only One qualified to throw a stone refused to! Jesus dealt with her on the basis of mercy and grace. She deserved judgment, but He gave her forgiveness! Those religious men condemned her and said she was worthy of death. Jesus saw someone who was worthy of His love. He saw someone worth saving.

    Look at His question to the guilty woman. “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?” His question is this, “Are there any witnesses against you? Has anyone passed sentence on you?” Look at her answer in the last verse of this study.

    11 She answered, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “I don’t judge you either. You can go now, but don’t sin again.”

    Her answer is simple, “No man, Lord.” His forgiveness is instant, “Neither do I condemn thee.”

    I'm going to stop right here for now and let this sink in, but we will pick this back up and dig deeper into this final statement by Jesus to the woman. It's not what you think it will's better. Grace and Peace.