John 8:8 MEANING

John 8:8
(8) And wrote on the ground.--The Cambridge MS. inserts, "with His finger," as in John 8:6. The repeated action repeats His determination to avoid the office of judge. He has answered them, and He leaves His answer to do its work. There is a law written in their hearts, and this, while He now writes on the ground, is convicting them.

There is a strange addition at the end of the verse, in one of the older MSS. of this section, showing how men have tried to give a definite meaning to the action of writing. It reads, "and wrote on the ground the sin of each one of them."

8:1-11 Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner's guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame the faults of others, are especially concerned to look to themselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christ attended to the great work about which he came into the world, that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but to save. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, by showing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing them their sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convince and convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate's office. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than they meet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take that upon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent her away, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those who help to save the life of a criminal, should help to save the soul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christ does not condemn. Christ's favour to us in the forgiveness of past sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more.And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. As before, having said enough to confound them; and yet unwilling to pursue the matter any further, or publicly expose them in any other way; and that they might have an opportunity of withdrawing themselves without any further notice of his, he took this method.
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