“Casting Stones”

It comforts and quiets the depraved heart of man if he can only find a person worse than himself. He thinks the GREATER sin of another, excuses himself, and while accusing and vehemently blaming another, he forgets his own evil…[1]

            The story is told of a Man who had a following. Those who appreciated His thoughts and wisdom on matters listening closely to what He had to say and how He said it. They often commented on His mannerisms, He was a very patient and knowledgeable man who caused some in the crowd to snicker at those who hung on His every word. His critics felt they knew better than He did, declaring they had much better credentials than He. They envied His popularity and His demeanor. What an annoyance to have these detractors always lurking in the crowd, instigating situations that would call His wisdom and character into question. It is amazing how statements viewed from a different perspective can easily deliver such a diverse outcome. Far too many were critical of what He said. The neighboring cynics were most anxious to let everyone know they were offended.

His followers though were devoted, learning His schedule, where He would be on certain days, what time of day He preferred the most, would He be in the city or out by the water. The more they could learn from Him the better. Those who liked Him knew that if His critics persisted, He might leave, never to be seen again. All He had said was truthful though some called Him a liar. His opponents claimed He had stolen THEIR ideas.

Lately, the tension around the man seemed to be escalating. His detractors appeared more agitated and angry, confrontation was not foreign to this group. Some said that they make their own rules as they go, discrediting people they do not like. It is sad to see them deliberately criminalize one they do not like while hypocritically dismissing without question their friends and associates who were guilty of the same acts.

One day in particular matters boiled over, opposition mounted. Many thought that His tenacity would be tested beyond what He could stand. Some wondered if violence would breakout in the streets. He was not a violent man though some reported that He became physical at a recent local gathering.

Then it happened – with evidence in hand – the leader of the group opposing Him stepped forward presenting Him with the facts that would be difficult for Him to defend. The court of public opinion was now in session. If He agreed with the facts set before Him, He would be forced to condemn the wrong. If not, he would be repudiating the precedence surrounding the case.

You could hear a pin drop as the Man weighed the particulars set before Him. The facts of the case were real though presented in a way that was skewed against Him. He was between a rock and a hard place. His closing remark was delivered with all the insight His followers had come to expect from Him.

“Let him who is without wrong step forward and pronounce the final verdict.”

The significant lesson to be learned goes beyond the details of this story. In fact, every man, woman, and child stand guilty before God. Only God has the rightful place to judge and He has —

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

So, regardless of how your personal wrong-doings stack up over time and no matter how your sins compare to others, YOU must decide how you will deal with the consequences of where you stand before the Lord.

Further He says,  “For the wages of SIN is death – BUTthe free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)

Religion tells you to do stuff in order to be appealing to God. God tells you that He has already DONE stuff to be accepted by Him.

Titus 3:5 – “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…”

Which of those choices will you choose? Trust God or trust yourself? We humans like to pay for our wrongs – it makes us FEEL GOOD. By nature we want to remedy any wrong we may have done, even if against God. The only remedy you need has already been accomplished and is now offered to you FREE OF CHARGE. Yours for the asking or should I say, yours for believing. Once again God remarks —

Acts 16:31 – “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will (present tense) be saved”.

John 3:36  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

That choice now belongs to you and you alone.

[1] J.N. Darby, comment on John chapter eight.

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