In John 8:3-9 is this story: “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” . . . He said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” . . . Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. . . . ” He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
So here’s my question: Can people change? And if they can, how do they do it? How do we stop following the traditions of men and start to follow Jesus? It is not a choice between truth and love; it is finding the place of truth AND love. (Sorta like Jesus did in this story.) We can’t seek a forever solution (we want one, but people just don’t have it in them). We can only do what God tells us to do today. I don’t have the right to cast the first stone.
In the traditions of the Jews the person who witnessed the wrongful act and testified against the wrongdoer had to be willing to cast the first stone when they stoned the person to death. That’s a pretty hard task, when everyone is going to see. You had to be sure of what you were accusing someone of; and sure that you weren’t just as guilty as that person, of that crime or some other. It’s like they had to put their integrity where their mouth was.
We never get clean BEFORE we turn from our sins, only after, we are converted (changed). We are changed, we surrender and turn to God, THEN we are cleansed of our sins. When we’re hooked on drugs or control or sexual sin or pride, no one can help us, ’cause we don’t think we need help. But when we’re injured, damaged and suffering, we suddenly become vulnerable and open to be comforted and changed. Then we suddenly change from rocky to fertile soil; ready, even willing, to receive the Good Seed of God’s Word. Praise the Lord!