Sticks & Stones can break your bones but words are more powerful still.
In the Old Testament David threw a stone to kill a giant. In the New Testament Jesus used his finger as a stick to draw a line in the sand. He did this on the account of those who wanted to stone an adulterous woman. He was inviting people to put down their stones and stand on the side of God. A side where violence is only waged against thought systems or spiritual realities, not against flesh and blood. He was ushering in a new era, a new way of doing life, forever.
Jesus said: “You have heard it said, “You shall love your neighbor but hate your enemy, But I say to you love your enemies, bless those that curse you and do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
David used a stone to take a giant down and then used his enemies weapon to kill him. He used the enemy’s way of life against him. However, in the New Testament Jesus said to turn the other cheek by not repaying evil for evil. He used His Fathers heart as a weapon of love to dismantle the heads of giants. He used His Fathers words as a sword instead of one made of cold and hardened steel. He revealed a standard of Love that positioned Him to be the Head of all things. He put the enemy’s tactics and weapons to open shame by a non-violent approach of forgiving his enemies, which was violent in the heavenlies toward the forces of evil.
The Greater Story Unfolds John 8:6-11
In this story, Jesus gave the accusers of the adulterous woman the option to throw the first stone. This could have been a great example for the these people to talk about in their churches. “Remember the time we stoned the woman and took down the giant of adultery!” But a higher standard was revealed here. The religious people dropped their stones one by one because they were “conscious-stricken.” The words of Jesus tore down the stronghold of judgment that convicted those who knew they deserved the same judgment if they were to continue measuring people by their standard of judgement. As Jesus looked up at the woman, the accusers were nowhere to be found. He asked her, “Where are your accusers?” She walked away with joy in her encounter with the love and forgiveness of the King.
Jesus drew a line in the sand. The very fingers He could have used to point faults out, like the accusers, He instead lowered to the ground to continue writing the law of forgiveness in the earth. When the accusers left, the adulterous woman was no longer an adulterer. She was left alone with Jesus where True Identities are found. When you are alone with Jesus, accusations and accusers must flee.
Behind all the negative judgments of the religious communities in the world today, Jesus still scribbles in the sand awaiting those who will stand with His heart of love and forgiveness, even if you have to stand alone. When you forgive your enemies, you also give them the option to stand alone with the King. You give them the opportunity to be transformed.
We must point out the fact that Jesus gave these people a choice to judge. He provided them with a revelation on which they could choose one thing or the other. One choice could originate in a heart of justice, void of love and the other in a heart full of grace. Jesus gave His disciples the same choice when He said, “Who you forgive will be forgiven, who you don’t will not.” Someone recently pointed out; Jesus gave them a choice but only led by example with one of them.
Directly after forgiving the woman, the Pharisee’s challenged Jesus’ authority. Jesus responded by telling them they did not know Him, His Father or what Spirit He was of. He told them that they judged according to the flesh and that He judges no one like that. He was a living Rock, not stone of heartless judgment like they were.
More Stones & Stories With Same Standard
While Stephen was being stoned to death, he said, “Lord, forgive them and do not charge them with this sin.” The heavens opened as forgiveness was released upon those who killed him. They were forgiven. Stephen had manifested the heart of the King with this forgiveness. Forgiveness opens the heavens to the heart of God that heals and forgives the worst of all sinners. He gives us the authority to forgive, heal and love with His power. As Divine Partakers of God’s nature we can display this heart, like Stephen, even unto our own death as we try to reach the darkest of humanity with the light of love (Words and Actions) and not the weapons of death (Sticks, Stones, Swords, Guns, Bombs, etc.).
The Apostle Paul himself was beaten with sticks and stones and in his life before encountering Jesus he stoned and killed people. After he met Jesus, he never stoned anyone again. He used words of authority to speak to spiritual matters of the war we’re in and of our position in God that overcomes it. He gave a clue to what kind of heart we needed to rule the world with God in actual truth, mercy and justice.
Written On The Earth
I wonder what Jesus was actually writing in the sand when the accusers of that woman were standing there. Scripture says that He pretended not to hear them. I wonder if He was canceling out their spoken judgments by the written words in the sand. I believe He was writing the standard of heaven on earth with His finger. A standard of love that He was writing and living, revealing that it was supposed to be lived out on earth as it is in heaven.
Stones may break your bones, but sticks can draw words in the sand that set people free. The question is whether people will drop their stones to gaze upon the words in the sand. The sands of time have been turned upside down, giving time to those who will listen by understanding the words that go beyond time. Words that give life to the dying and death to the things that cause death. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, not in lifeless stones. They are in the power of what we say and do and what we don’t say and do. Sticks and stones may break bones but words will set people free.
May you be one who is humble enough to know what we all deserved, yet courageous enough to believe what we all have received: The power of love that sets all men free. May you be free from judgment and condemnation by knowing who you are as one who is genuinely innocent and full of His power. Power that loves, heals and forgives, no matter what the cost. May your life be written upon with the finger of God that writes the Story of Heaven on hearts and gives us promises more numerous then the sands of the sea. This is the Story that turns stony hearts into living stones. Stones that build, advance and establish the Kingdom and not stones that judge, kill and destroy.