7So 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. (John 8:7, King James Version)
This is perhaps one of the most misquoted verses of the Bible, second only to “Judge not”. Taken out of context, it is twisted like a pretzel and made out to mean something other than what Jesus said. And yet, how related are these 2 passages?
1. Did the woman commit adultery?
2. Were the scribes and Pharisees correct in that she should be stoned under the Law of Moses?
3. What reason did Jesus give the woman for not condemning her? Did He act according to the Law in not condemning her? Hint: Where are the 2 or 3 witnesses required to put someone to death?
You see, Jesus was not soft on the Law, as some would claim. This is backed up by His parting statement:
11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11, King James Version)
No, Jesus was not being soft on the transgression of the Law, sin, at all!
BUT – I’m sure you realized there was a catch – is there another lesson here?
Have you ever considered how this blends in with the following Scripture?
1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5, King James Version)
The chapter on the adulterous woman follows right after this chapter. The scribes and Pharisees were “convicted by their own conscience”. Whatever Jesus wrote on the ground (names? dates? places?) convicted them of the beams in their own eyes. Whether any of them took them out afterwards or not, we cannot say, but it is evident that at least some refused to even see how blind they were.
Now, we all have heard how you are supposed to “go to your brother”. What is evident from the above is that we are supposed to do so when we have a clear conscience ourselves. We must not be willing to cast stones when we ourselves are not clean.
We are told in multiple ways to examine ourselves. When we are clean, we go to our brother.
It is important to note how gossip disrupts this idea. Gossip is an assassination of one’s character, and the target is not even their to defend themselves. Gossip is casting stones while the person’s back is turned.