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Dropping The Rock

But if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. Matthew 12:7 (NKJV)

One of my favorite pieces of Scripture in the New Testament has to be the story of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, and who was brought into the temple before Jesus (John 8:2-11).  The Scribes and Pharisees said, “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” (John 8:5)  Jesus responded by remaining silent.  Instead He simply knelt down and began to write in the dirt.  

I think this story is interesting for several reasons.  The first thing I can see is God revealing the heart of the Scribes and Pharisees.  I don’t think they really cared about the woman, or her offense, nor did they really bring her into the temple before Jesus to make sure justice was done.  After all, if she was caught in the very act, then they could have taken her before the Sanhedrin and they could have easily determined her guilt.  They wouldn’t have needed Jesus to decide this.  Also, there would have been a man involved in this adulterous affair, as well as a witness to the sinful act, and yet, we don’t see any evidence of either of them being there. 

It was clear, the Scribes and Pharisees were attempting to trap Jesus (John 8:6), because the Mosaic Law stated those caught in such an offense were to be stoned to death, and yet the Roman law had forbid the Jewish religious leaders from carrying out any capital punishment.  So if Jesus was against the stoning, then He would be guilty of going against Mosaic Law, and if He condoned her to be stoned, then He would be in opposition to Roman law, and He would also lose His reputation for being compassionate and merciful. 

Eager to destroy Jesus, the Scribes and Pharisees pressed Jesus for an answer, and He responded by standing back up and saying, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7).  Every one of the Scribes and Pharisees were convicted by their conscience, and one by one they dropped their rocks and walked away, leaving the woman in Jesus’ midst. 

For those who were in attendance, and for each of us who will read these Scriptures with an open heart, we can see the loving actions of a merciful God.  When I think about this story, I am reminded to make sure I don’t have any rocks of unforgiveness, bitterness, and condemnation in my hands.  And if I do, then I will be committed to dropping the rock.     

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained within this devotional, what can we learn with regards to our showing mercy to others?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you prepared to show others grace and mercy, especially when they don’t deserve it?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to show others the mercy you would want God to show you.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your grace and mercy upon my life.  Help me to remember this story and to show this same type of mercy to those who may have offended or hurt me.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000