A great example is the woman who was going to be stoned for adultery.
Found in John 8:1-11, the woman was brought before Jesus, and the Pharisees wanted Him to weigh in on the decision to stone her to death.
Jesus famously said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
And one by one, the Pharisees walked away.
What a humbling experience for the Pharisees who needed to be taken down a few notches.
That they acknowledged their sinful nature was a rarity.
After they walked away and Jesus asked the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
I can imagine her only Biblically recorded statement made with trembling voice and through tears, “No, Lord.”
Jesus responded, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Such a tremendous act of compassion offered because Jesus knew His upcoming crucifixion was going to cover her sins too.
He showed mercy, rather than condemnation.
This story is a perfect model of the words Jesus spoke in John 3:17, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
It’s interesting that John’s record of the event notes Jesus was writing in the dust during this exchange but doesn’t explain it.
I’m curious what He wrote.
A Christian movie that came out a year or so ago (The Resurrection of Gavin Stone) shows this story and the man playing Jesus wrote “grace” in the sand.
Only Jesus can tell us for sure, but that seems an appropriate possibility.
Whatever it was, I’m sure compassion was on Jesus’ mind.
When we take the time to understand the word, and how He has applied it to us individually, we too can experience both sides of the story.
We can recognize humility as the Pharisees did and acknowledge our imperfection.
And we can relate to the woman who undoubtedly felt fear, shame, remorse, and finally, relief at the undeserved mercy and compassion given to her by Jesus.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for the compassion He modeled and extends to each one of us.
Ask Him to help you remember the same grace when you’re tempted to throw a stone at someone else.