While Jesus was teaching near the temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who was accused of adultery. Under the Old Testament law, death by stoning was the prescribed punishment for any person who committed this sin.

They asked Jesus what they should do in her case, hoping to trick Him into making a statement that would give them grounds for His arrest (John 8:1-11).

Jesus did not answer their question, instead. He bent down and began writing in the dirt. Finally, He looked at her accusers. “Let any one of you who is without sin,” He challenged them, “be the first to throw a stone at her” (vs 7 NIV).

At this, the woman’s accusers walked away. Jesus also refused to condemn her, though this does not mean He approved of her sinful actions. He went on to encourage her to give up her life of sin.

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