That episode picks up as a group of Moses’ followers drag a woman caught in adultery before Jesus. Hiding their real intent to throw a stone at Jesus, they pose a cynical question: “Teacher,” they said, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
Jesus bent down. What was he going to do? Pick up a stone to show them that he and Moses were on the same page?
Instead he began to write something on the ground. What was he doing? With his gaze turned away from the woman, he said, “Let the one among you who is without sin throw the first stone.” One at a time, from the oldest to the youngest, her accusers walked back into the shadows.
Don’t you wonder what the woman thought of Jesus as told her that he wasn’t there to condemn her either—while urging her change her ways?
What I find so compelling is that the conversation with Moses’ followers isn’t over. The chapter ends with religious leaders picking up stones to kill Jesus. When you get a chance, I wish you would join me in thinking about what happened next– to bring the stone throwers out into the open.