I wonder how often it happened. It was the law that the punishment for adultery was stoning. It seems as if the Pharisees went out looking for a guilty woman as they acted with no sympathy. They were probably delighted as they thought they had a way of catching Jesus out. I notice that Jesus didn’t rush to act or speak, thereby defusing a very inflammatory situation.

The crowd were baying for the woman’s death so they must have been further annoyed by Jesus’s act. He just knelt down and started writing in the sand. When He stood up everyone would have held their breath. What was He going to say ‘ Stone her,’ or ‘Release her.’ Either way the Pharisees had Him trapped.

‘Let anyone who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ He wasn’t supposed to say that, it wasn’t in the script. We are told that one by one the accusers walked away into the crowd, ‘the older ones first.’ I can imagine the younger ones standing their ground until they realised, oh dear, they were not without sin. Finally there was only one man left, though He is back writing on the ground. As He is the sinless Son of God, He was the only person entitled to stone her.

I wonder how long it would have taken us to leave the crowd of accusers.