6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
This they said, testing Him,
Jesus’ opponents wanted to know how He might handle this difficult situation. They wanted to put Him on the horns of a dilemma. The desire of these moral watch-dogs was to impale Jesus on the horns of dilemma. This was the get-Jesus committee.
that they might have something of which to accuse Him.
If Jesus failed to interpret Moses properly, then His enemies would be able to discredit Him. The opponents of Jesus wanted to find a base of accusation against Him, either under Jewish law or the Roman government. Using the woman taken in adultery was a ploy. They did not have a true charge against Jesus, so they tried to manufacture one. Jesus’ accusers wanted a legal basis to condemn Him.
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger,
Whatever Jesus wrote on the ground caused the bystanders to deal with their souls.
as though He did not hear.
Jesus’ desire was to show them that He did not want to answer their question.
So when they continued asking Him,
The accusation against the woman was accurate but the persistent motive of Jesus’ opponents was to trap Him in a wrong judgment.
He raised Himself up and said to them,
Jesus knew that His enemies were trying to trap Him in a legal nicety and that they were using the woman for an ulterior motive.
“He who is without sin among you,
No human being except Jesus is without sin. Legalism often does not recognize its own sin.
let him throw a stone at her first.”
Jesus clearly pronounced His verdict on how to handle this situation. He put the onus back on the woman’s accusers to deal with the dilemma.
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
We do not know what Jesus wrote on the ground. Writing left the accusers time to ponder their own lives. They also had an opportunity to move off the scene.
Priggish people do not exam themselves properly.
Self-righteous or priggish people are often caught in their own accusations. There are times when we must accuse the accusers.
Jesus agreed with the Old Testament law against adultery. He made the sin even stronger by adding that even the very thought of sexual lust is sinful (Mt 5:28). Jesus did not minimize the woman’s sin nor did He deny assertions from Scripture.