Standing on His Word
By Aisha Darwesh
The Word: John 10:31-39
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
Today’s verses pick up on an angry note in John 10. In the context of this chapter, Jesus is revealing different facets of His nature and character: He calls Himself the Gate (v. 7), the Good Shepherd (v. 11), and finally He identifies Himself in such a way that causes the Jews to respond with the intent to stone Him–He says “I and the Father are one” (v. 30).
Here’s where our verses pick up. The Jews want to stone Jesus. For what? Not for the good works He does, but for blasphemy (v. 33). In saying that He and the Father are one, He was putting Himself at the same level as God.
In response to the angry mob in front of Him, Jesus simply points them to: 1) the scriptures; and 2) the good works that He does from the Father.
First He refers to Psalm 82:6 which states: “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.’” This completely crushes the accusation that Jesus is committing blasphemy. It also shows us that everything in scripture points to Jesus. If these so-called teachers of religious law really knew and understood the Word of God, they would be able to identify Jesus as the Son of God with the starkest clarity.
Second, Jesus tells them “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (v. 37-38). This gives us a second clue to understanding the oneness of Jesus and the Father: observe the works of Jesus. Jesus didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the walk. His life displayed the glory of God day in and day out. In fact, the very end of the Gospel of John states: Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25). Can you imagine that? There wouldn’t be enough room to fit all of the books written about Jesus’ works in the whole world.
However, to those whose hearts are not willing to see, even that couldn’t convince the Jews. Verse 39 states “Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.”
Jesus’ life on earth gives us as followers of Christ a model of how we are to conduct our lives. When faced with opposition from the Jews, Jesus stood on two vital things: 1) the Word; and 2) the Works He did from the Father.
This shows us what we are to rely on when our faith is challenged. First, look to the scriptures. Find out who you are in the Word. The Word says you are a child of the Most High God (Psalm 82:6). When you read the Bible begin to look for clues about your identity in the scriptures.
For example, John 10 states we are God’s sheep and He is our Good Shepherd. We hear His voice and the voice of a stranger we will not follow. That scripture alone is packed with meaning and encouragement. For one, it’s comforting to know that we can clearly identify God’s voice in our lives. Also, it establishes that our Shepherd knows us by name and we are not strangers to Him.
Second, Jesus points out the works He does from the Father. This is very important. He showed us that even though Jesus is God, He didn’t act on His own. He followed the directions of His Father. We are to do the same. If you live a life of submission and obedience to your Father God, then you will be blameless when people want to throw rocks at you. Even if nobody else believes you are a transformed person, you can rest assured that God is working in you and empowering you to do His good works.
Father God, thank You for leading and guiding me as my Good Shepherd. You are worthy of all praise and adoration. I give You my heart afresh today. I want to walk the path You have laid out before me. I want to follow You and no other. The voice of a stranger I will not follow. Speak to me Lord; I want to hear You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.