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Daily Verse: “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 ESV)
LITHOS (3037): “Is used literally of the “stones of the ground.”[i]
Drop the rock.
When the self-righteous crowd dragged the naked, adulterous woman in front of Jesus, His response made me love Him. I didn’t get dragged down public streets, but I have sinned like her. One cringe-worthy instance in my twenties felt metaphorically the same. Tongues wagged at my inappropriate relationship, making me feel less than worthy of love.
But Jesus knew what to do. Instead of condemning the woman, He protected her from the murderous crowd. Bending, Jesus began to write in the dirt, then standing, He told the people, those without sin cast the first stone. Dropping back down to the earth, Jesus continued to write. One by one, everyone left. Jesus, alone with the woman, forgives her, telling her to go and sin no more.
Change your behavior.
For the woman to “sin no more,” she must change her behavior. Jesus wants us to live our lives to the fullest, meaning He doesn’t want us to harm ourselves. When we do things like the adulterous woman did, we cause ourselves harm. To stop the pain, we must stop the behavior.
In my situation, I ended the relationship. An unmarried woman, I caused myself a mountain of pain getting involved with the wrong man. To “sin no more” meant I needed to remove myself from the situation.
Unlike the man in today’s story, who slithered away, the person I knew didn’t. He stalked me, causing me to go into hiding—a very dark period of my life I regret deeply and one of my greatest lessons. Changing my behavior and following Jesus’s teachings healed my heart over time, leading me to new life in Christ.
Whatever sins lie in your past, Jesus says the same thing to you:
“And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:11 ESV)
Look at your life and identify any self-destructive behavior, then invite Jesus into it. Let Christ’s grace and mercy help you make different choices, leading to a fuller life in Him. Jesus doesn’t condemn; He forgives.
[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 151) Thomas Nelson