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"Again His Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any good work,' they replied, 'but for blasphemy because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'" John 10:31-33 NIV.
How nonchalant could Jesus be? Almost with tongue in cheek He challenged them. 'For which of the good works I did are you wanting to stone me?'
Slowly but steadily the case for blasphemy was building against Him -- unless, of course, He was telling the truth. If the Jews had had their way, they would have stoned Him there and then, but for one thing -- it was not His time.
As far as they were concerned, He was guilty and didn't even need a trial. Unlike Nicodemus and the blind man He had recently healed, they refused to recognise the Father as the source of the miracles Jesus performed. He was evil because He "broke" their Sabbath rules by healing on the Sabbath and then compounded His guilt by claiming to do His good works through God. What more evidence did they need?
Unfortunately for them, their action only compounded their guilt and not the other way around. Jesus had already indicted them for being blind. It was their wilful blindness that exposed their guilt because they refused to recognise Him for who He was. They had the Scriptures; they knew the Scriptures but they chose not to believe Him although it was clear that He was the one the Scriptures pointed to from Genesis 1.
In order for Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world, He had to be innocent of all sin, and especially the sins of law-breaker and blasphemer of which He sworn enemies accused Him so that His death would be a perfect substitute for sinners.
"Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, 'I have said you are "gods"?'" John 10:34 NIV.
What is the point of this quote from Psalm 82:6? In Hebrew rabbinic teaching, this is called a remez -- a hint. It is a portion of a portion of Scripture that makes no sense outside the context of the whole portion. Psalm 82 is an indictment of God's people for their idolatry. They followed the gods of the surrounding nations and became like them -- cruel, unjust, and oppressors.
God's law taught them to treat all people with dignity because they were all created in the His image. They were to reflect the nature of their God by the way they treated their fellow men.
"God presides in the great assembly; He renders judgment among the "gods": 'How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. The "gods" know nothing. They walk about in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High,' but you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.'" Psalm 82:1-7 NIV.
If the religious leaders knew their Scriptures, they would have understood that Jesus was turning their accusation back on them. They were accusing Him of blasphemy because He claimed to be the Son of God which He evidenced by doing what God required of a son.
They were supposed to be sons of the Most High by being generous and merciful, yet their very behaviour negated their claim. Like their ancestors, their lives displayed who their "god" was -- their selfish and greedy selves. They were "gods" in the sense that they were being what their "god" was and doing what their "god" did. For all the vehemence of their accusations, their words did not stick because their behaviour spoke louder than their voices.
Instead of the case building against Jesus, it was building against His accusers. The day would come when they would put the final nail in their own coffins and the judgment of God would fall on them and their children. "His blood be on us and on our children." Matthew 27:25 NIV.
Who is your God? Tell it with your life, not your lips!
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