Knowing Someone Cares

MEMORY SELECTION: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” —John 8:7


THE text, as recorded in the King James Version, from John 7:53 through 8:11 is not found in the Alexandrian, Vatican, Ephrem, and other manuscripts of great authority, nor in the oldest copies of the Syriac versions. Therefore, there is good reason to believe that it was added by a translator and is not a part of the original text.

The lesson taught in the passage, however, is a good one and that is that imperfect man is never in a position to judge another, because all are guilty before God. Under the Law the woman, who was an adulteress, was guilty, and the penalty was death by stoning. But Jesus was demonstrating the spirit of the Law by suggesting that he who was without sin cast the first stone.

In Matthew 5:27,28 Jesus elaborates on the principle that is involved when a Christian is tempted to judge someone else. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time [under the Law], Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” In other words, as far as a Christian is concerned it is what is in the heart that counts. The deed follows the approval of the mind and the heart.

In Luke 6:36-38 Jesus reiterates a principle concerning judgment as far as a Christian is concerned. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

If we were perfect ourselves and dealing with others who likewise were perfect, a law of justice and the demands of justice would be in order. But since we are sinners and objects of God’s mercy, and since all our fellows are in the same condition, there is no room for us to take our stand upon justice. He who stands upon justice will fall before the sword of justice. Hence, our Lord declared, “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

If a Christian realizes his own weakness and imperfection and need of help from the Heavenly Father, and exercises a like generosity in the affairs of life toward his fellows in tribulation, he will be one who will receive a full measure of grace from the Heavenly Father. On the other hand, the full measure of the Lord’s grace will not fall upon those whose hearts are not merciful toward others of their brethren.

All of this does not mean that our Lord condoned adultery or did not consider the transgression serious. The lesson we have considered is judgment. It should be remembered that God does not forgive our sins until we acknowledge them and ask for forgiveness. It would appear also, in our relationship with our brethren, that the transgressor should first recognize his transgression and then ask for forgiveness. Jesus said, “If thy brother … trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”—Luke 17:3,4

When we forgive, it must be from the heart and not merely from the lips. Heart forgiveness leaves no sting, no animosity, and no grudge. This is the kind of forgiveness we expect from the Heavenly Father for ourselves, and it should be the kind of forgiveness we give our brethren. “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |