The wisest way to answer a question is not to answer, to answer later on, or to answer slowly. The Lord’s first reaction to their question was not to answer it quickly. We also must learn this wisdom. When people come to you with an urgent question, you must learn from the Lord. He simply stooped to write on the ground. Silence cools people down, like cold water cools boiling water. When the Lord stooped to write, He was cooling down the situation. At the same time, by cooling down the hot situation, the sinful woman was comforted. I believe that by stooping to write on the ground the Lord Jesus was indicating to the religionists that they should not be so proud, that they had to humble themselves a little. They had to realize that they were as sinful as that woman.
Everyone was staring at the Lord as He stooped to write on the ground. Then the Lord stood up and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (8:7). The Lord seemed to be saying, “You may stone her to death, but someone must take the lead. No one is qualified to take the lead in this except the one who is without sin. Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” This word pierced their conscience. I believe that even before the Lord spoke these words, while He was still writing on the ground, their conscience was touched. What did the religionists do? Beginning with the older ones and up until the youngest, they went out one by one (8:9). The oldest, being the wisest, went away first. They knew that they were not qualified to take the lead in stoning the woman to death. But they were qualified to take the lead to run away. All the younger ones followed them.