When I read about the people “casting stones” to kill people in ancient times I am mortified. I even think, “Wow I would never do that”, but when I recently read in Matthew 23:30-34, I realize the hypocrisy in my thoughts. In verse 30 the scribes and pharisees say,
If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Yet, Jesus rebukes them and calls them hypocrites (vs. 29). He continues to say that they persecute, kill, crucify and scourge others. In what ways are we like the scribes and pharisees?
In the beginning of John 8 there is a woman brought before Jesus who was taken in adultery. The scribes and pharisees are in a real way waiting to cast stones at the Savior, but in this instance are seeking to cast stones at the woman. They ask Jesus what he thinks about it, knowing that Jesus also views adultery as a sin, and ultimately hoping to catch the Savior making a mistake in his response presenting him with what they thought would be a lose-lose situation for Christ.
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:6-7)
My mind keeps pondering those waiting to cast stones. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the person about to be stoned is a woman. My mind immediately thinks of mothers. Whether through social media, whispers, or in our minds we are waiting to cast stones at other women. Waiting to tell them their parenting is wrong. Waiting to tell them that their decision to work instead of stay home with the children is wrong. Waiting to tell them that their decision to stay home rather than pursue a career is wrong. Waiting to tell them that they don’t look quite right. Waiting to tell them that their home isn’t perfect. Waiting to tell them that if they are a good mom they have to do x, y and z and if they aren’t then they are a failure. Ultimately presenting them with a lose-lose situation, regardless of what they’re doing.
How often are we waiting to cast stones? The response to remember here is “He who is WITHOUT sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Do I make mistakes? Yes. Do I sin? Absolutely. We all do. Let us not be so condemning. Let us show mercy and love like the Savior does for this woman, and does for you. He shows her mercy and lovingly encourages her to be better.
And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on his name
Drop the stone you’re waiting to cast. Show love. Be slow to respond, and seek for heaven’s help. Have mercy on yourself, and give mercy freely to others. Strengthen, encourage and uplift one another. Women and mothers are attacked enough without other women holding and waiting to cast a stone as well. “He (she) who is without sin (or mistakes) among you, let him (her) first cast a stone at her.”