Summary: Jesus presents irrefutable evidence of His deity to hardhearted unbelievers.
Jesus, the God Man: The Gospel of John
“Deity on Display”
Introduction: Pat and I have purchased a few timeshares. Part of their presentation is to take you to a model so that you can appreciate what you are going to purchase. The same is true when you go to rent an apartment or a model home. They put what they are selling on display so that you can understand what it looks like.
In our text today we will see Jesus once again try and explain who He is and His nature to those that are in a state of hard-hearted rebellion and unbelief. This is His final public interaction with them until the week before His crucifixion. He makes one final challenge for them to accept who He is and His offer of salvation.
This challenge will present irrefutable evidence of who He is for them (and for us today) as we see His “deity on display.”
1. Unbelief must be confronted. (vv. 31-36)
“Jews” – Pharisees and religious leaders
“Take up stones” – They went and found stones in order to stone Him to death. In verse 30 He claimed to be one with the Father and thus they considered Him to be a blasphemer. Leviticus 24:16 said that anyone that claimed to be Messiah should be stoned to death.
Never let anyone tell you that Jesus never claimed to be God. He just said that He was one with God in essence or nature thus claiming that He was God.
“again” – John includes this word because this is not the first time that have tried to kill Him. They so hate Him and by the same token they hate God so the only recourse they have is to kill Him. He was so hated that they have dogged Him His entire ministry trying to catch Him in a statement or trying to get a reason to kill Him.
These men demonstrate what Paul says in Romans 8:7.
The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Romans 8:7 (NIV)
The truth is the heart of most unbelievers is so dark they would do the same thing if given the chance.
"Unconverted men would kill God Himself if they could only get at Him." –JC Ryle (1816-1900), Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John
v. 32 – Their arms are cocked back with rocks ready to throw and Jesus disarms them with this question: “All my good works are from God so for which of them are you going to stone Me?” “Going to” indicates they were poised and ready to throw!
“Good” – kalos. Same word Jesus used in reference to Himself as good Shepherd. It means surpassing all, beautiful, above all others.
Jesus works were not just nice, helpful, thoughtful things. They were far above and excelled above all others.
Notice He keeps the focus on God and His work in the world through Jesus. He was not here by His own volition, but out of obedience to the Father.
v. 33 – “It is not for the good works that you are doing, but because You are just a Man and are blaspheming by claiming to be God.”
Please pay attention to the fact that they did NOT deny He was doing good works because He is about to hang them with their own words notably that just a mere man could not do these good works!
v. 34 – Jesus now confronts them with the Word of God.
“your law” – Does not mean the first five books of OT, but rather refers to the entire OT which they treasured.
He quotes Psalm 82:6 where God called them gods. This did not mean they were gods but rather means they had God-given powers to be judges over the people. So it means “judges, mighty ones, or God’s representatives”.
v. 35 – “Word of God came” – Not a foreign concept for the divine nature to come to man.
The difference is that the “word of God came to them” in the OT but Jesus IS the Word of God!
They were not the Word of God but He is!
The contrast is between those "to whom the word of God came"--men of the earth, earthy, who were merely privileged to get a divine message to utter (if prophets), or a divine office to discharge (if judges)--and "Him whom (not being of the earth at all) the Father sanctified (or set apart), and sent into the world," an expression never used of any merely human messenger of God, and used only of Himself. –Jamieson, Fausset, Brown’s Commentary
These men were called “gods” in Scripture and the Scripture stands unbroken. Here from the mouth of Jesus is a commendation on Scripture as infallible and inerrant (without error)! I did not make it up. Jesus says so Himself!