The Gospel of John: a commentary & meditation 
"I am the Son of God"

Gospel Reading:  John 10:31-42

31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?" 33 The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we 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 tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. 40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him; and they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." 42 And many believed in him there.

Meditation:Why were the religious leaders so upset with Jesus that they wanted to kill him?  They charged him with blasphemy because he claimed to be the Son of God and he made himself equal with God. The law of Moses laid down the death penalty for such a crime: "He who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him" (Lev. 24:16).  As they were picking up stones to hurl at Jesus, he met their attack with three arguments. The many good works that he did, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, and feeding the hungry -- demonstrated that they obviously came from God.

Jesus defended his right to call himself the Son of God with a quote from Psalm 82:6 ("I say, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you").  If scripture can speak like that of humans, why should Jesus not speak of himself like that? Jesus then made two claims:  He was consecrated by the Father to a special task and he was sent into the world to carry out his Father's mission. The scriptural understanding of consecration is to make holy for God to be given over as a free-will offering and sacrifice for God.  Jesus made himself a sin-offering for us, to ransom us from condemnation and slavery to sin.  He spoke of his Father consecrating him for this mission of salvation (John 10:36). Jesus challenged his opponents to accept his works if they could not accept his words. One can argue with words, but deeds are beyond argument.

Jesus is the perfect teacher in that he does not base his claims on what he says but on what he does. The word of God is life and power to those who believe.  Jesus shows us the way to walk the path of truth and holiness. And he anoints us with his power to live the gospel with joy and to be his witnesses in the world.  Are you a doer of God's word, or a forgetful hearer only?

"Write upon my heart, O Lord, the lessons of your holy word, and grant that I may be a doer of your word, and not a forgetful hearer only."


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(c) 2001 Don Schwager