Jesus dealt with the accusation against the woman in a way that has made the narrative famous, and though it has been omitted in various translations, it portrays the grace and wisdom that were inherent in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God (Boring, Berger, and Colpe 37). It reveals the tendency of the haste in which many people pass judgment on others while not seeing their very own sins. It also exposes the wicked plan of the Scribes and Pharisees to trap Jesus, whereby they got what they thought they had the perfect opportunity by using this woman as evidence to trap, discredit and arrest Jesus. These men are exposed as not seekers and upholders of the truth as they pretend, but as hypocrites.
Background of the Text
In the first instance, as we examine verse 8-5, it is important to understand what was the motive behind the action of the Scribes and Pharisees, which is to be found in John 8:6 that explains that this was done to test Jesus so as to get evidence, with purpose of accusing Him. They did not accuse the woman to Jesus because they were concerned about the Law of Moses but because of the hidden motive to accuse Him (Patte, Daniel et al, 13). They had reasoned and planned that whatever answer Jesus gave, whether to stone the woman or not to stone her, they would get the evidence of their accusations.
If Jesus would have concurred with them and given the go ahead that the woman be stoned, they would have accused Him before Pilate of making Himself King, more so because of the Jewish authorities did not allow for the death penalty. If this had not been the case and he refused to side with the accusation, he would have been discredited by the people as a person who did not side with the law. Theological Reflection on the text Examining verses 5 brings out the understanding that the Scribes and the Pharisees in this instance were bringing forth matters that were a misinterpretation of the same law that they were claiming to uphold. In the book of Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22, the Law they claimed to uphold states that both the man and woman who engage in the act of adultery were to be put to death, while in this case, only the woman who they claimed had been caught in the act was brought to Jesus so that she could face judgment (Boring, Berger, and Colpe 56). The Scribes and Pharisees told Jesus that the law stated that such women should be stoned, whereas according to the aforementioned scripture, this was a misinterpretation. It can be rightly assumed that this could have been a scheme, hatched between the adulterer and the other men in the Scribe and Pharisee group to trap the women, in their wider scheme to ultimately trap Jesus. This can be verified from the fact the catching of the woman in the act and the timing of the plan to arrest Jesus seem to have been coordinated to result in finding fault with Jesus and arresting Him. The reply that Jesus gave is narrated in verse 6 and it was very surprising to the Scribes and the Pharisees, and it caught them off guard because they had not anticipated such an eventuality. The narrative continues that Jesus stooped and wrote down with His finger and, the significance of this is important to verify since, it must have been important because it was found worthy recording as this episode was narrated in the Bible. The act of writing can be construed to have been symbolic so as to pass a certain message across. This is strengthened by the fact that, as recorded in Exodus 31:19 the first set of the 10 commandments that were given to Moses were inscribed on two stones by the finger of God. It is significant to note that Jesus is recorded to have written with His finger and this could have held the significance that Jesus the Messiah wrote with the same authority as God, since the Bible equates Him