Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
There’s a scene in the motion picture, “Forrest Gump” where Forrest and Jenny, after being reunited again are walking down the lane toward Jenny’s childhood home. As Jenny stops in front of the abandoned house, all the years of running and reckless living fade away as her suppressed emotions from the loss of her mother and abuse from her father overwhelms her. Desperate for relief from the rage, bitterness and grief, Jenny begins hurling rocks at the dilapidated structure until finally, she collapses in exhaustion. Forrest, with his childlike wisdom narrates, “sometimes….there just aren’t enough rocks.”
I’ve felt and acted like Jenny. I’ve endured the sting of pain inflicted by others whose sin has affected me. I’ve run from reality and suppressed my emotions because it was just too hard to deal with in the moment. Eventually, though, I realized that the running just caused more pain and so I chose to face the demons of my past. The thing is, when I tried to do that in my own strength, I picked up handfuls of rocks and began throwing them at the people who hurt me instead of first examining my Pharisaical heart.
“Let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone….”
There will never be enough rocks to stone the people who have hurt us. But there is an unlimited supply of forgiveness that can cover every one of the wounds that have been inflicted. All we have to do is throw ourselves down before the Savior of the world and ask for His forgiveness first. Only then are we free to go…..and sin no more.