What did Jesus write on the ground according to John 8:8?

“And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground” (John 8:8).

The context of the verse is that the Jews had brought woman caught in adultery and asked Jesus to pass sentence over her. This incident was clearly a trap: if Jesus said they should stone her, then the Jews would report Him to the Romans who had the civil authority for such an act. If Jesus said that they should not stone her, then the Jews would accuse Him of disregarding the law of Moses. The religious leaders were hypocrites and arranged for the whole story to try to entrap Jesus.

But instead of answering them, Jesus wrote in the dust. This is one of the only records of Jesus writing anything. According to tradition He wrote down the sins of the accusers. The practice of writing in the sand is referred to in the Mishnah (Shabbath 12. 5, Soncino ed. of the Talmud, p. 503).

This is indeed probable because after He was done writing, He asked those around who were without sin to cast the first stone. The people there having seen their sins written on the ground were convicted of their own sinful deeds and could not stone the woman. Jesus’ writing on the ground the sins of the woman’s accusers proved His divinity and that He can read the hearts of men.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team



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