Weekly Devotional: Throw the First Stone

By Paige Ferrari

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Matthew 7:13-14, John 8:1-11 

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14)

Spring break happened. Choices were made. Some good. Some maybe… not so good. Spring break is iconic for being a time to blow off steam and possibly make some poor life choices.

We value our freedom in the choices we make. In American culture, we hold our freedom of choice in the highest esteem. Good or bad, our choices are something that can be on a whim or meticulously processed and thought through. Sometimes these bad choices come in the form of lying to a friend to get out of something you don’t want to do. But other times, it can manifest in the tearing of relationships.

Have you ever heard the saying, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”? We throw around this phrase very loosely, and its rough translation is to not criticize others when you also have faults.

This saying bears similarity to the story in John 8:1-11. A woman is caught in an adulterous relationship. It reads in verse three that she was “caught in the act of adultery” and was put in front of a crowd, with stones in their hands, ready to condemn her.

But Jesus stepped in and flatly said, “But let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Can you imagine the anger and bluntness in His voice as He said this? This crowd was ready to hurt this woman who had already been publicly humiliated and sentenced to death by stoning.

Jesus steps in, convicts the crowd and tells the woman that he doesn’t condemn her. The last line of this story is Jesus’ last command to this woman: “Go and sin no more.” We miss out on this command. Jesus tells the woman that she is to leave this life that she was living. She is to change—to not live in sin anymore.

I heard this saying from a friend once: “If you claim to know the Gospel, yet do not allow it to change you, you do not truly know it.” This is the power of the Gospel—that the story and truth of how Jesus calls us to live is supposed to radically change how we live. It is supposed to change our lives so drastically that we are to leave our life of sin; we are supposed to stop living in our old ways and give way to the truth and instruction of Jesus Christ.

So know this: We are loved so passionately by a Savior who advocates for us, who wants nothing more than a relationship with us. That no matter how many times we get knocked down, no matter the bad choices we made in the past, how we decide to go from here on out is the testament to how the Gospel has changed us and our lives.

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