“When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the oldest ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court” (John 8:9).
Once Jesus established the criteria for stone-throwing eligibility, it was the oldest that first walked away. I like to think in that moment of reflection they “grew up” and were awakened to their own sinfulness; that while, perhaps, not guilty of the same sin as the accused, they certainly had their own sins that could just as easily bring public shame if exposed. A faith that offers grace is far superior to a religion that throws stones. We are at our best when we err on the side of grace.