Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 168
Context: As Jesus reaches the final phase of His ministry, He teaches large crowds that gather daily in the temple to hear Him. The frantic Pharisees and scribes attempt, with theological questions, to trap the young Master, who threatens to overthrow the Jewish tradition. One morning they present to Christ in the temple a woman taken in adultery. Pointing out that the law of Moses states that such a woman be stoned, the Pharisees ask Jesus what He believes should be done to her. At first Jesus pretends not to hear the inquisitors:
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.