Text: John 8:3-9
Most of us have been reading this story of the woman caught in adultery for decades and think it has little to offer us in the way of new information. Well, for starters, ask yourself, “How is it possible to catch one person in the act of adultery?” But the sexism of Bible culture is not our focus here. Nor is the physical act of stoning. I’ve had to explain to generations of teenagers that when St. Paul says in II Corinthians 11:25, “…once I was stoned…” he’s not saying what they think he’s saying. Stoning is a barbaric custom still practiced today in some countries, but we haven’t had any reported cases of it in recent years in San Antonio. (I know—nothing is more satisfying than hearing the preacher denounce a sin that we aren’t tempted to do!)
You are probably tired of my many comments about not reading the Bible literally, but Bible study is a lot like looking at an iceberg. If we insist on staying on the surface, we will miss much of the richness in the text. In the Early Church, many saints with much time on their hands, gave three levels of interpretation to each verse in the Bible: the literal, the figurative, and the spiritual. I wonder what three interpretations they gave to Genesis 27:11 ( But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.) 🙂
No—our theme this morning is two-fold. First, is that many sins begin, not because we’re sinful but because we’re stupid, and a series of stupid choices can quickly lead to sin. Secondly, we’ll look at why it is just so much fun to cast stones.