Cast the first stoneToday I’d like to take the liberty of tinkering with a well-known text from the gospel of John. I’m sure you’ll get the point.

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.

The Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No , Lord”, she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Not this time, anyway. But you’d better not do it again, okay? Just because I’m not condemning you this time, don’t go thinking you’re off the hook. I suggest you watch your step from now on, because at some point my patience might wear out. Remember, even when you think I’m not around, I’ll be watching you. I’m giving you a big chance here; don’t let me down by blowing it.”

(Adapted from John 8:1-11)

[ Image: Jean-Louis Mazières ]