John 10:33-36

Why are mere men called "gods"?

33   The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34   Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said,
Ye are gods?

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36   Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? for My Father is greater than I"



In John 10:30 Jesus made this amazing claim: "I and my Father are ONE."   No ordinary man could ever say this! No ordinary man could ever say, "God and I are one!" But Jesus could say this because He was not an ordinary man. He was the GOD-MAN (perfect God and perfect Man). Only He could claim to be ONE WITH GOD.

The Lord's enemies knew exactly what Jesus was saying, and they wanted to stone Him (John 10:31)?  They wanted to put Him to death! They considered it to be blasphemy for a man to claim to be one with God. They knew that Jesus was claiming to be equal with God (compare John 5:18). But Jesus was not guilty of blasphemy because what He said was true!

Jesus asked these Jews to tell Him what He had done to deserve being stoned to death (John 10:32). The only kind of works Jesus had done were good works (John 10:32), and a person should not be put to death for doing good! Jesus had not done one "bad work" in His entire life!

The Jews wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy, "because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God (John 10:33).  He made Himself God in the sense that He claimed to be God and the Jews understood this. These Jews knew that when Jesus said, "I and My Father are one" He was claiming to be God! They believed that Jesus was committing a terrible sin by trying to make others believe that He was God.

The argument that Jesus uses in John 10:34-36 is somewhat difficult to understand. It can be explained as follows: The first point that Jesus makes is that in the Old Testament men are called "gods" (John 10:34-35). The passage Jesus is referring to is Psalm 82:6 where sinful, human judges are called "gods." Judges have a very important responsibility. They are responsible before God to judge in the right way. When judging their fellow men they must judge just like God would if He were in their place. So in a very real way these judges were taking God's place and doing the work that God has given them to do. So in this sense they are called "gods." These judges were to act on God's behalf.

Jesus then made His second point in John 10:35-36. He was saying something like this: "If the Scripture calls mere sinful men 'gods' (and the Scripture cannot be broken), then how can I be wrong to call Myself 'God'? If men are called 'gods' in Psalm 82:6, then how can it be blasphemy for the SON OF GOD to be called 'God'?" Notice what Jesus says about Himself in John 10:36:

  1. He is the One that God the Father has sanctified (set apart in a very special way).  Jesus Christ is the Unique One. There is no One like Him!

  2. He is the One whom God has sent into the world. He came from God!

  3. He claimed to be the Son of God (John 10:36). And the Jews knew that when a person claimed to be the Son of God He was claiming to be equal with God (John 5:18 and compare John 19:7).

The Jews wanted a straight and plain answer (John 10:24) and this is exactly what Jesus gave them!  He was Son of God, one with the Father and equal with God!

The Lord's enemies did not want to believe His words (what He said) and they did not want to believe His works (what He did)--see John 10:38. They did not like what Jesus was telling them and once again they tried to take Him in order to execute Him, but they were not successful (John 10:39)?  But not everyone rejected His words and works. We are told that "many believed on Him there." (John 10:42)

Are you a true believer in Jesus Christ? Are you one of His sheep? Are you safe in His hands (John 10:27-30)? Are you able to say what David said long ago: "The Lord is my Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1)?

For Further Study



Return to the Index of Problem Verses


Home Page - Sunday School & Bible Studies - Help for the Seeking Heart
Salvation - Missions & Evangelism - Bible Study - Christian Life - Prophecy - Doctrinal Studies
Christian Home & Family - Dispensationalism - Problems with Reformed Theology
The Local Church
- Studies on Biblical Separation - Order Literature
Spanish Studies