[Jesus] straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time…” John 8:7b-9a
The crowd gasps. The air is full of tension. A woman pulled from an act of adultery lays on the ground sobbing while the Pharisees challenge Jesus. “The law says to stone her, what do you say?” Jesus bends down and writes in the dust. It’s not clear what he’s writing. But what he says when he stands up is very clear. “If you have no sin (nor any regrets), you throw the first stone.” There is total silence as one by one the accusers walk away.
Bible scholars believe Jesus may have been listing the sins of the accusers in the dust. This story is more about them than the woman. Her sins are obvious. The Pharisees are covering theirs up. In the Old Testament, King David tried to cover up his sins. He writes about his regrets in Psalm 51:3: “I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”
This might sound familiar. We can also regret things we’ve said or done and covered up. Jesus shows us in this encounter that he wants to forgive us. All we need to do is bring our sins to God and ask his forgiveness. Repentance is the centerpiece of accepting the power of God to forgive and change us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
David shows us how to approach God with our unconfessed sin in Psalm 51. He admits he has sinned and asks for mercy. He asks to be cleansed and for a change of heart. Use Psalm 51 as a prayer of confession. Read it to God with your regrets in place of David’s.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
May is SECRECY. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.