Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Sound of Stones

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 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. (John 8:1-2 KJV)

Jesus was at God’s house to teach people about Him and their relationship to Him when a woman was brought to Him by demanding religious leaders:

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? (John 8:3-5 KJV)

You can see the stones at the priest’s feet as he calls for judgment upon the woman. They were liars. They didn’t care about her, really.  If they had, they knew the written penalty. Their purpose was to snare Jesus.

That is our enemy’s purpose – distracting God’s people from sharing God’s word. They posit their own concepts, saying what they think God should have said, twisting a verse or two away from God’s purpose and man’s responsibilities. Aren’t Christians confronted in similar manner, a planned argument with an agenda by closed minded people?

Can we respond as quietly as our Lord, or do we become defensive:

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. 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. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. (John 8:6-8 KJV)

We know the scene, but do we ever think of the sounds? Not just the sounds around Him – breeze across the porch, rustle of clothing, scuffling of shoes – but the sound of stones, dropping, one at a time, as men left, one by one.

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. (John 8:9 KJV)

She stood before Him, convicted yet free. What a beautiful portrait of ourselves, with contrite hearts, standing before our savior, uncertain what is next. Knowing we are guilty, knowing the penalty, yet hearing Him say:

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? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:10-11 KJV)

Did she sin again? I’m certain she did, in some way. We all do, even when we’ve promised not to. Thank God, His forgiveness has no limitation, not even seventy times seven. Thanks be to God for the sound of stones, dropping.

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