The Abuse of He that is Without Sin

“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone” (John 8:7). Let me encourage you to read and study the whole context of John 8:1-11 for yourself.

John 8:7 is one of the most abused scriptures in the Bible and is an example of taking a scripture out of context. A scripture out of context becomes so when it no longer means what it meant in its original context. The scripture under consideration is such a scripture and in its context has nothing to do with the way people usually use it. Example: Transgression is pointed out in someone’s life and then they defensively respond with an accusation of unrighteous judging, “Who are you to judge, Jesus said he that is without sin let him cast the first stone and we have all sinned.” They mean since we have all sinned (Rom. 3:23; 5:12) no one can point out sin in another without violating John 8:7. But is this what Jesus meant in the context?

First, Jesus condemned unrighteous judging (Matt. 7:1-5), but commanded righteous judging (John 7:24). Judging righteously is judging biblically

(Ps. 119:172; 2 Tim. 3:16). It is not wrong or unloving to point out bible sin. On the contrary, it is right, loving, and commanded (Rev. 3:19; 2 Tim. 4:2).

Now look at the context of John 8:3-11. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:3-4). Under the old law, both the man and the woman caught in adultery had to be brought forth (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22). But they only had the woman. Under the law, they also had to have 2 or 3 eyewitnesses which had to step forward and be acknowledged because they were the ones to “cast the first stones” (Deut. 17:6-7; Num. 35:30). But no witnesses came forth. Finally, it was all a reprehensible attempt to tempt/accuse Jesus (John 8:6). This is why when Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her” they were all convicted by their consciences (John 8:7,9). Jesus was not asking who was without sin in their life, but who was without transgression in the deception and conspiracy of trying to unlawfully condemn him. They all knew the law and knew they were guilty. Finally, the woman had indeed sinned (John 8:11), but Jesus could not condemn her either according to the law since there were no witnesses and adulterous man brought forth.

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