John 10:30-42

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 27, 2010


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

We have now jumped in time to the month of December, the time of the Feast of Dedication (we call it Hanukkah).

Jesus had been walking in the temple when He got cornered by some of the Jewish leaders.

They again began to challenge Jesus about who He was.

He replied that they didn’t believe in Him because they weren’t His sheep, they weren’t a part of His flock.

We ended last week by talking about how safe it is to be part of Jesus’ flock:

(Jn 10:28–29 NKJV) —28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

In verse 24, the Jews had asked Jesus to tell them plainly who He was.  He does.

He has just said that He and the Father both had the same capability – no one can snatch us from either of their hands.

:30-38 The Deity of Jesus

:30 “I and My Father are one”

I and the Father, we are one

Jesus is claiming to be God, and we’ll see that the Jews understand that this is exactly what He is saying.

What He’s NOT saying

Some might misunderstand what Jesus is saying and claim that Jesus was claiming to be the Father.

Those folks will have difficulty when the Father speaks at Jesus’ baptism and says, “This is My Beloved Son…”
Those folks will have a hard time when we get to John 17 and Jesus is praying to the Father.
He is not claiming to be the same person as the Father.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all three distinct persons.

He is claiming to be of the same “essence” as the Father.  He is claiming to be God.

The Father is Yahweh.

Jesus is Yahweh.

The Holy Spirit is Yahweh.

Don’t worry, I have a hard time understanding it as well.


The Deity of Christ

You just can’t get around it.  It’s too clear in Scripture not to see it.
What I’m going to give you this morning, as many Scriptures as I’m going to use, is really only scratching the surface.
1.  The Old Testament speaks of His deity
A well known prophecy about the coming of the Messiah.

(Is 9:6 NKJV) For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His name shall be called … “Mighty God”?

(Mic 5:2 NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

Up through the phrase “Ruler in Israel” this could be talking about any of the kings, any of the descendants of King David.

“Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” speaks of a person who has been alive for a very, very, very long time.

It is using “God” kind of language.

2.  He called Himself God.
We have already seen this quite a few times in our studies.  For example:
(Jn 8:58 NKJV) Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
3.  The Jews understood what He meant
When Jesus claimed to be doing the works of His Father…

(Jn 5:18 NKJV) Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

We’ll see the same thing later in our passage (John 10:33)
In our passage, the Jews again try to kill Jesus,

(Jn 10:33 NKJV) The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

If you pay attention to what is happening, you will notice that Jesus does not try to correct the Jews.  He doesn’t respond by saying, “Wait, wait, that’s not what I meant!!”
4.  The apostles called Him God to His face
When Thomas saw Jesus the first time after His resurrection,

(Jn 20:28 NKJV) And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Note that Jesus doesn’t stop Thomas and correct him.

5.  He received worship from men
In the Ten Commandments, God told the people not to worship other gods or to bow down before them (Ex. 20:3-5).

(Ex 20:3–5 NKJV) —3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

This is why Mordecai got into so much trouble in the book of Esther, because he would not bow down before Haman (Est. 3:2).

(Es 3:2 NKJV) —2 And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.

At the end of the book of Revelation, we see an example of how this works. When John is so overwhelmed by the things he’s seen, that he falls down to worship the angel that has been showing him all these things,

(Re 22:9 NKJV) Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

Yet when Jesus walked on water, Matthew records,

(Mt 14:33 NKJV) Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

This is all through the gospels.  All sorts of people giving Jesus worship.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke record seven different times when Jesus is worshipped.

Before appearing to Thomas after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the other disciples,

(Mt 28:9 NKJV) And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.

Jesus knew the Scriptures, yet He allowed others to worship Him.
6.  The apostles wrote that Jesus was God
We’ve already studied what John has written.  He’s made it clear from the very first verse:

(Jn 1:1 NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Paul was writing about the Jews when he wrote,

(Ro 9:5 NLT) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

When Paul talks about how we are to live our lives, he wrote

(Tit 2:13 NLT) while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.

7.  God calls Jesus “God”
The author of Hebrews starts off his letter by talking about who Jesus is and how Jesus is better than everyone, including the angels.  The author is careful to quote God Himself on these things as he writes,
(Heb 1:7–8 NKJV)  7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

God the Father is calling the Son “God” and says that Jesus’ throne will be forever.


The importance of His Deity

Why is it important that I believe that Jesus is God?  Can’t I just believe in Jesus without believing that He is God?
1.  There are other Jesus-es.
Paul rebuked the Corinthians for putting up with all kinds of strange doctrines.
(2 Co 11:3–4 NKJV) 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

There is more than one “Jesus” out there.

It’s important not just to say you follow “Jesus”, but that you are following the true Jesus of the Bible.

The Mormon Jesus

We love our Mormon friends.  But it is important to understand that the Jesus that their church talks about is not the Jesus of the Bible.  The Mormon church teaches:

a. Jesus was the first spirit to be born in heaven. (Mormon Doctrine, p. 129).

The Bible teaches that Jesus has always existed with God the Father (John 1:1)

b. Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163; Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).

The Bible teaches that Jesus is God, and not a created being.  The Bible teaches that Satan is a fallen angel, a created being.

3. Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, (murder and repeated adultery are exceptions), (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).

The Bible teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus is enough to cover any sin.

The Jehovah Witness Jesus

We love our Jehovah Witness friends, but they too do not teach what the Bible teaches.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Brooklyn New York teaches (among other things):

a. There is only one God, one person whom we call the Father and they call Jehovah.  His first creation was a being named Michael the Archangel.

b. When it came time for the Messiah to be born, Michael became a human, named Jesus.

3. They are the only source of truth on the earth.  You can only find the truth about God by faithfully studying their publications.  If you only study the Bible you will end up believing what the apostate church does (that’s us).

It seems to me that these are examples of what Paul referred to as “another Jesus”.
2.  The payment for your sins depends upon it
Jesus hinted at this when He said,

(Jn 8:24 NKJV) Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

As we’ve mentioned before, Jesus is saying that if you do not believe the correct thing about Him, you will die in your sins.

Your eternal destiny depends upon how you choose to deal with your sin.

Whether you agree or not, the Bible says that we are all sinners.

The Bible says that one day we will face a sort of judgment before God over our sins.

(Heb 9:27 NKJV) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

When the judgment comes, the penalty for sin is death, eternal separation from God.

God does not want you to have to pay for your sins by sending you to hell.  God has done something to pay for our sins.

From the earliest of times, the Bible records God setting up a system for which a sacrifice can be made, by which someone or something else could pay for your sins.

That’s what Jesus came to do.

(Jn 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

(2 Co 5:21 NLT) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

If Jesus was just an ordinary man and He was somehow able to die as a sacrifice, He would only be able to pay for the sins of a single person.

Because Jesus was God in human flesh, when He died He laid down an eternal, infinite life.  He was able to pay for the sins of the whole world.

(Heb 10:14 NKJV) For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Which Jesus do you believe in?

:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

:31 again

This isn’t the first time that they have tried to stone Jesus. The first time took place in John 8, a chapter that began with the woman caught in adultery and the Jewish leaders asking Jesus if SHE should be stoned.

When Jesus said that the one without sin could be the first to throw a stone, they all walked away.
But by the end of the chapter, they were picking up stones again, but this time to throw at Jesus:
(Jn 8:58–59 NKJV) —58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

The Jehovah Witnesses have said that Jesus was saying that He and the Father were simply “one in purpose”.

Pay attention here.  The Jews thought that Jesus was making Himself equal with God, not just in purpose, but much more than that.

If Jesus was just claiming to be “one in purpose”, He has had plenty of opportunities to explain Himself.  He’s had plenty of chances to say, “No, no, no, that’s not what I meant”.

:32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

:32 I have showndeiknuo – to show, expose to the eyes; to give evidence or proof of a thing

:32 For which of those works do you stone Me?

I love this line.

Jesus is doing good works, and they are trying to kill Him.  The irony of it all.

:33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

:33 blasphemyblasphemia – slander; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty

:33 make Yourself God

The Jews understood Jesus as clearly calling Himself God.

:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?

:34 You are gods

Jesus quotes from Psalm 82, a psalm written for the judges of Israel, pleading for them to judge correctly.

(Ps 82 NKJV) — A Psalm of Asaph. 1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.

mightyel – god, god-like one, mighty one; mighty men, men of rank, mighty heroes
godselohiym – rulers, judges, angels; gods; God; (plural of el)
The words used to describe these judges in Psalm 82 are words usually associated with God Himself.  God is “mighty”, He too is a judge.
This same word is used to describe Moses would be like “god” to Pharoah, speaking through Aaron as Moses’ spokesman. (Ex. 4:16)

(Ex 4:16 NKJV) —16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God.

The word is used three times in the book of Exodus (21:6, 22:8,9) to describe the “judges” of Israel (like it is here).

The Psalmist goes on to exhort those who are judges in Israel:

2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. 6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. 7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.

:6 You are gods – this is what Jesus quoted
The point is not that these judges were some sort of exalted beings, but that they were like “gods” in that they held a power over the people they judged.
And even though God called them “gods”, they were clearly just men and they would die just like other men.
These judges will be judged by God, just like everyone.

:35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

:36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

:36 sanctifiedhagiazo – To make holy, consecrate, sanctify; to dedicate, separate, set apart for God

There may be a connection between Jesus’ statement here and the fact that this happens at the Feast of Dedication.

Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple by sacrificing a pig.
Judas Maccabeus cleansed the temple and rededicated (sanctified) it.

Jesus is the One who was “sanctified” by God, chosen by God to save the world.

What is the logic of Jesus’ point here?

Jesus is arguing “from the lesser to the greater”.

If the lesser thing is true, then the greater thing is true.
If I held up a Nerf ball, what might you call it?  You’d call it a ball.  Maybe even a “soft ball”.
If I held up an actual “softball”, what would you call it?  A softball.
If you don’t have a problem calling a Nerf ball a “soft ball”, why do you have a problem calling a real softball a “softball”?
The Jewish leaders didn’t have a problem with the language of Psalm 82, calling human judges “elohim”.  So why do they have a problem when the real God-in-human-flesh shows up and calls Himself “God”?

What He’s NOT saying

Jesus is not saying that all men are “gods”.

The Scripture He quotes has God calling these judges “gods”, but that’s in a very limited sense.
The Scripture Jesus quotes also makes it clear that these judges or “gods” will die just like every other man.

Whereas the Jehovah Witnesses make too little of Jesus by saying that He is not God, the Mormons make a different mistake, but making too much of men.

In Mormon theology, good Mormons will one day be like Jesus and become gods over their own planets.
That’s NOT what Jesus is saying here.

:37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

:38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

:39-42 Belief near Jordan

:39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

:39 to seizepiazo – to lay hold of; to take, capture

Jesus will not return again to Jerusalem for another three months, until Palm Sunday, when He will come back to be crucified.

:40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed.

By this time, John the Baptist had been arrested and beheaded by Herod.

:40 to the place – probably near the Jordan River, near the city of Jericho, perhaps near Qumran.  We were told at the beginning about this place:

(Jn 1:28 NKJV) —28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Perhaps it was on the other side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.  I wonder if it might have been near Qumran, where the Essenes were.

:41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.”

:42 And many believed in Him there.

:41 John did no sign

John lived to point people to Jesus.

He loved to talk about Jesus.  But he wasn’t a guy who did miracles.

Earlier, when Jesus had begun to draw bigger crowds than John, some people asked John if he was bummed that more people were going to Jesus.  John said,
(Jn 3:29–30 NLT) —29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

John didn’t see all the fruit of his ministry before he died.  Some fruit came later.


No miracles, just sharing

John was just a preacher.  He “performed no sign”.
And now, after He is gone, people are still coming to Jesus.
I like this!
Sometimes I feel woefully inadequate in my ability to minister to people.

When you read about some of the prophets like Elijah and Elisha, you can be in awe at the powerful things they did.

John did no miracles.
Jesus called John the greatest man that ever lived.
And all he did was tell people about Jesus.
Even after John is gone, people are still coming to Jesus.
I wonder if that isn’t a good example for us to follow.

:38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

:38 believe the works

Even if they don’t believe the things that Jesus has been saying, they ought to at least pay attention to the things that Jesus has been doing.


Faith and His works

Just who do you think Jesus is?  Have you paid attention to what Jesus has been saying?  Have you been paying attention to what the Bible says?
How about paying attention to the things that Jesus did?
How is your “faith” doing? 
Have you been having difficulty trusting God?  Do you pray like you ought to, calling on God to work in your life and the lives of those around you?  Are you facing a difficult time up ahead and wondered how in the world you are going to make it?
Believe the works.  Look at who Jesus is and what He can do.  Sometimes when you study the text as slowly as we have been you miss the bigger impact of just who Jesus was.
Play video of “the Miracles of Jesus”.
Who is this Jesus?  He is God in the flesh.  He is full of compassion.  There is nothing too difficult for Him.
Jesus is reminding them of the best witness He has to who He is – the works that He has done:
(Jn 5:36 NKJV) —36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
Nicodemus recognized this:
(Jn 3:2 NKJV) —2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
John writes at the end of the gospel:
(Jn 20:30–31 NKJV) —30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Is it time for you to start putting your life in Jesus’ hands?

Your prayer life – just look at who it is you are praying to.

Have you ever wondered, “What in the world am I doing giving up so many things to follow Jesus?  Look at who He is.

Some of you are facing some very difficult things.  You can trust Him.