I Said You are Gods

When Jesus was being harangued by the Jews on Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) in John 10 (vss. 22-30) about whether He was the Messiah, His answer was that He and the Father were “one.”  This statement was so radical, that the Jews interviewing Him were ready immediately to stone Him for blasphemy.  Jesus' answer to them in this case is very interesting.

“Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 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’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:31-39)

Quoting from Psalm 82:6, Jesus makes the case that the Jewish leaders had a double standard when it came to accusations of blasphemy, because David was obviously talking to Jewish people when he said that God the Father called them “gods.”  They were, essentially, threatening to stone Jesus for saying something that was not significantly different than what David wrote in scripture.  What is, perhaps, not so evident is another inconsistency that Jesus was pointing out, that is seen in the text of the psalm itself.

When David was using the word “gods” he was not saying that human beings were deities, but he was using the word “gods ('elohim, #430)” to stand in for people who were in high positions of authority (see: Genesis 23:6; Exodus 22:8-9).  The Jewish people were supposed to be representing God's values on earth as “sons of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6)  However, they were being chastised for failing to do what God expected of them.
“How long will you judge unjustly / And show partiality to the wicked? (Selah)  Vindicate the weak and fatherless / Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.  Rescue the weak and needy / Deliver [them] out of the hand of the wicked.” (Ps 82:2-4)

The same values that God encouraged His people to demonstrate in the psalm were the ones that the Jewish leadership was still failing to uphold in Jesus' day.  Therefore, in defending His connection with God, Jesus appealed to the fact that He did “the works” of His Father.  It was evident in everything Jesus did that He was the Son of God, and that He was one with Him in nature, and in character.  This was in contrast to much of the Jewish leadership at the time.

If we are to be “sons of the Most High” today, along with Jesus who has made us brethren and fellow-heirs, we must also cultivate these values in ourselves.  We must look out for the vulnerable when it is within our power to do so.  We must love people as God does, than then we will not only be mighty in Him, but we will truly be His children.