John 8:6 – Jesus wrote on the ground
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:2-11)
Remarks about writing on the ground.
John does not say what Jesus wrote on the ground.
An explanation may perhaps be found in the conclusion of the prophet Jeremiah, after he had proclaimed a detailed prophecy at God’s behest:
A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary. LORD, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water. (Jeremiah 17:12-14)
It is quite possible that when Jesus stooped, He wrote names with His finger in the dust on the ground.
The scribes and the Pharisees, who had brought the woman to Jesus, knew whole Old Testament passages by heart and were certainly acquainted with the Book of Jeremiah.
It is possible that they disappeared quietly when they saw Jesus writing names on the ground, and perhaps saw their own names among them, because they did not wish to be identified with those who, according to Jeremiah, turn away and forsake the Lord, the spring of living water.
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John 8:6 – Jesus wrote on the ground.