John 10:31-36 (NIV) 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken– 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?
On verses 31-36: When Jesus questions his Jewish opponents as to why they are trying to stone him, his opponents explain that they are stoning Jesus for blasphemy because he claims to be God. Jesus’ response is intriguing. First he quotes Psalm 82:6 and shows that in certain situations the Scriptures describe people as “ ‘gods’…sons of the Most High.” In the case of Psalm 82:6 specifically, human judges were described as “gods” in that they possessed the power of life or death over others. Jesus reasons that, since the Scriptures, which cannot be broken, already speak about people as “gods”, how is it blasphemy for Jesus to say that he is God’s Son?
What can we learn from this? Here we see Jesus’ view of the Old Testament and in particular the Psalms. He views the Psalms as Scripture and says that the “Scripture cannot be broken” (v35); in other words, Scripture cannot be in error because it was the Word of God. Just because we don’t like what we read in the Bible, or we don’t fully understand it or we don’t agree with it doesn’t mean that it stops being the Word of God. Elsewhere Jesus would say something similar: “not the smallest letter, nor the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law” (Matthew 5:18)
John 10:37-38 (NIV) 37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
On verses 37-38: Jesus is basically saying to his critics and doubters, “If you don’t believe what I say, let my actions speak for me. Look at the miracles I have been performing and ask whether I am sent from God or not, whether I am closely tied to the Father or not.”
Likewise, I pray that when people see what you do – your actions, your behaviour, the way you live –they would have reason to believe that Christ lives in you.
John 10:39-42 (NIV) 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
On verses 39-42: Probably because Jesus time to die had not yet come (v39), Jesus goes back across the Jordan River to where John the Baptist had been baptizing (v40). As Jesus preaches and ministers there, many put their faith in him (v42). People who had previously heard John the Baptist talking about Jesus can now vouch for themselves that “all that John said about this man was true” (v41). In other words, though John himself never performed a miraculous sign, Jesus’ ministry confirmed that John was a prophet because everything John prophesied about Jesus came true.
What can we learn from this? Like John, you might not get to see all the fruit of your efforts to talk with people about Jesus. But that’s okay. Like John, keep on pointing people to Jesus. One day down the road, the people you spoke will realize that you were right to point them to Jesus, even if at the time when you shared it with them they didn’t understand or didn’t believe.
Lord Jesus, may I not stop sharing You with others and trying to lead others to You, knowing that in time people will realize who You are. Just as Your actions and works confirmed who You are, I pray that not my actions and what I do will testify about how great You are. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!