“The scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they said unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do you say? (John 8:3-5).
It was an open and shut case. No question about the guilt involved. They brought this case before Jesus, ‘testing him’. Jesus stooped and wrote something on the ground. They pressed their case and that is when Jesus said, “Let him that be without sin cast the first stone.”
I have on my desk a stone and on it are written the words, ‘FIRST STONE’. Stones are of no use until you throw the first one.
The story is told of a man who had been carrying a sign which boldly read the title of this essay. He had a big knot on his head. He found the guy who was “without sin” and got beaned with a stone.
When the scribes and Pharisees left the scene, Jesus turned to the woman and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She answered in three words, “No man, Lord”. Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:10-11).
Here is another example of the grace of God. Without this grace, we all are in jeopardy. The scriptures say, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The apostle Peter said, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, (Hades) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto Judgment”(II Peter 2:4). On what basis are we to escape the Judge? For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? (I Peter 4:17-18).
The apostle Paul adds understanding to the subject of ‘Judgment’ by saying, “But not as the offense (Adam’s sin), so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more through the grace of God, and the gift by grace which is by one man, Jesus Christ has abounded unto many” (Romans 5:15)
“T’was battered and scarred and the auctioneer, thought it scarcely worth his while, to waste much time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.”
“What am I bidden, good folks”, he cried. “Who’ll start the bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar . . . then two. Only two, two dollars, who’ll make it three? Three dollars once, three dollars again, going for three”, but no;
From the room far back, a grey haired man, came forward and picked up the bow. Then wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening the loosened strings, he played a melody pure and sweet, as caroling angels sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said “Now what am I bid for the old violin,” and he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, who’ll make it two; two thousand, who’ll make it three? Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going and gone,” cried he.
The people cheered, and some of them cried, “We do not understand, what changed its worth, came the quick reply, “Why it was the touch of the Masters hand”.
And many a man with life out of tune, battered and scarred with sin; is auctioned cheap, to a thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. A ‘mess of pottage’, a glass of wine, a game and he travels on; he is going once . . .going twice, he’s going and almost gone!
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd, never can quite understand; the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought, by the touch of the Master’s hand” (Author unknown)
A young ministerial student journeyed with the old preacher to the ‘poor house’ for a Sunday afternoon service. As they passed the communion, they had to stop and help each one with the breaking of bread and the fruit of the vine. With vacant eyes, and trembling hands, some could not prevent the saliva to drool from the open corners of the mouth. It was a pitiful sight, and the young boy was overcome.
Nauseated, he excused himself and went outside to wretch. On the way home he apologized to the old preacher, “When I looked at them, I just couldn’t take it.”
The old man of faith said, “I felt that way when I first came years ago. Then one day I thought, “This must be the way we all look to God when we partake of the communion.”
So it is written, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).