Articles by Stan Dean

Throwing Rocks

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I had a lot of fun with rocks when I was a kid. Of course, since rocks come in different shapes and sizes, each formation served for a different application. For example, medium flat rocks were ideal for skipping on the water. Small round rocks served as good bullets for my crude slingshot made from a forked stick and strips of an inner tube. And the list goes on and on. However, I also learned if I wanted to chase away an undesirable that about any old rock would do and there was always one close by. 

As I was reading through John’s account of the gospel recently there was a verse that made me stop and give pause. Here it is: “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him” (John 10:31). To these unbelievers, Jesus was an “undesirable” and they desperately wanted Him gone and about any old rock would do- - perhaps the bigger the better!

The “again” lets us know this was not the first time this had happened (cf. John 8:59). It seemed not to take much for those unwilling to accept Jesus and His teachings to start looking for a rock to throw.

But what was it about Jesus that made Him so “undesirable” in their eyes to where they wanted to throw stones? Interestingly enough, the answer is found in the same things that make people “throw rocks” at others today.

For one thing, they were envious of Him (Matthew 27:18). The old “green-eyed monster” can cause people to do some ridiculous things. Solomon wrote that “Envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). Thus, a person given to envy is always looking for a rock to throw!

Another reason they started looking for rocks is because they were “angry” (Cf. John 7:23). Again, Solomon penned, “An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22). When anger gets out of control, picking up a rock and throwing it at whomever or whatever gets in our way might seem like a viable option- - but not so.

What about you? Do you work to keep things in your life like envy and anger under control or do you start looking for a rock to throw when they pop up? “Throwing rocks” can be hurtful and destructive to others, but even more, it can put our souls in jeopardy (Galatians 5:19-21). Hence, picking up a rock to throw at someone might be a tempting thought, but it should never become an action!

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