Most scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus Christ was an historical figure, yet not all are in agreement concerning His identity. It is without question that no other individual has had such an impact on the world. It is estimated that there are over two billion people in the world who profess to believe in Jesus Christ. If you were to take time to read the Gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus it will become clear that He was not an individual that you could ignore. What were His claims? Jesus Christ made the clear and bold claim that He is the promised Messiah and the Son of God.
The passage that we are considering in this message begins in a really confronting way: “the Jews picked up stones again to stone Him” (John 10:31). Where did that come from? This was an act of capital punishment, however it was not being carried out by means of a legal process. This was simply an angry emotional response to what Jesus had just said in the previous verse. There He said, “I and the Father are one” (10:30). It was that statement that fuelled their burning hatred toward Jesus. There was no mistake in their minds that Jesus had just claimed equality with God, thus making Himself also God. After they respond with rage, Jesus calmly, yet authoritatively answered them,
“I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33-34).
There is the issue. Jesus claimed to be God, and therefore they wanted to kill Him. Before such rage occurred, the question they should have asked, and the question we need to ask is this: is Jesus the Son of God? Before Jesus made the claim that He is God (10:30), they did request a plain statement concerning Jesus’ identity (10:24), but sadly they were not prepared to consider the evidence. In this passage we will see two lines of evidence that prove that Jesus is the Son of God.
These of course are not the only reasons that provide evidence for His claims. There are things like the way His life fulfilled over 100 prophecies, His character, and His death, burial and resurrection. But in the passage before us only two lines of evidence are provided, and this would primarily be due to the fact that His listeners desired for Him to tell them “plainly” (John 10:24). Let us now consider the two lines of evidence given by Jesus that provides plain proof that He is the Son of God.
1. HIS WORDS (10:34-36)
The first line of evidence that Jesus provides is His Words. Without any question, Jesus had made it clear that by means of His own words, He is claiming to be the Son of God. Jesus didn’t claim to be some caring role model, a mere teacher, or a leader of social justice or reform. Jesus made the undeniable and bold claim that He is God. Before we consider verses 34-36, let us reflect on some earlier examples from His words. After receiving a series of criticisms from the religious leaders, Jesus stated, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). With clarity Jesus is claiming to be eternal (cf. John 1:1). Furthermore, He gives Himself the name of God that Moses heard at the burning bush (Ex. 3:11). After hearing that, they attempted to stone Him (8:59). As we saw in the last message Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Here Jesus is making the point that though He and the Father are distinct persons, they are one in essence. Again, they wanted to kill Him (10:31). By means of His own words, Jesus had made it clear that He is God.
Now in verses 34-36, Jesus makes the point that He is God. We read,
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? (10:34-36)
The religious leaders wanted to stone Jesus to death because they rightly understood the point He was making. Because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, they charged Him of blasphemy. Jesus refutes this claim by quoting from Psalm 82:6 (A Psalm about human judges). The important point that Jesus makes is that if these judges are called “gods” in the sense that they represent God, how much more should Jesus be called the Son of God when He is actually the Son of God. Incidentally, notice the high view Jesus had of the Scriptures. He calls them the “word of God” and that they “cannot be broken” (10:35). His whole argument is based really on one word from Psalm 82 (“gods”). Yet because it is Scripture His argument is solid. Take comfort in the authority of the Scriptures for they are the Word of God.
2. HIS WORKS (10:32, 37-38)
After providing the evidence from His own words, Jesus now backs up this claim by providing a second line of evidence, which is His Works. It is one thing to say that you are something; it is another thing to prove it by your actions. Jesus said, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” (10:32). The “many good works” that Jesus is referring to here include all the actions that He did in His ministry, but the primary focus in on His miracles. Jesus performed many miracles in His ministry, but in the Gospel of John we read about seven of them: He turned water into wine (John 2:1-11); He healed the official’s son (John 4:46-54); He healed the invalid (John 5:1-15); He fed the multitude (John 6:1-13); He walked on water (John 6:16-21), He healed the man born blind (John 9:1-7), and he raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44). Each of these great miraculous works was truly amazing. But what made them significant is that they pointed to the power and person of Jesus. In this message we don’t have time to consider each of them, so let’s use one of them as an example.
After performing a number of miracles there was assembled before Jesus a starving multitude (6:5-9). Five barley loaves and two small fish were presented to Him (6:9). Then suddenly, Jesus performed a satisfying miracle. The food was distributed and the people ate “as much as they wanted” (6:11). This was truly a satisfying miracle. There was a crowd of thousands without food and supplies; then Jesus provided more than they needed. Because this is a sign, what does it teach us? Just like this hungry crowd, all humanity is in need of spiritual food that provides eternal satisfaction. Jesus goes on to call Himself the “bread of life” (6:35) to bring this point home. He alone can provide the human soul with sustenance and satisfaction that is eternal. Jesus performed this amazing miraculous work that revealed His Divine power and person.
Concerning these miraculous works, Jesus said,
“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (10:37-38).
His works were a clear testimony to who He was. It is interesting to note, that when it came to the miraculous works of Jesus on earth, none of His enemies denied or refuted them. All they could do was question the source of His power. Consider the powerful works of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The words and works of Jesus must not be ignored if one is going to consider and investigate His claims. As you take time to carefully consider what they reveal, plain proof is provided so as to validate His claims. What makes this so important? Firstly, if Jesus is not who He claimed to be, Christianity is to be rendered powerless and useless. However, if Jesus is who He says He is, then there are some significant implications:
He is the only Way to be Forgiven
If Jesus is who He said He is, then He is the only way to be forgiven. He alone has the authority to forgive you of all your sins (Matt. 9:6-8; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24). Jesus warned, “for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
He is the only Way to Heaven
Jesus said it very plainly, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). This means that you can’t get to Heaven by good intentions, religious deeds or good works. There is only one way and that is through Jesus Christ.
He is coming back as Judge
The time is coming when every single person in history will one day be raised up and will stand before God. With authority and command, the Lord Jesus Christ will speak and the dead will be raised. This will occur because the Father “has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:27). As judge He will grant those forgiven of their sins eternal life and those who rejected Him will be sent to eternal punishment.
Jesus provided His hearers with plain proof as to why He is the Son of God. If you are a believer, continue to love and long for your Saviour. Submit to Him and serve Him. If you are not a believer, recognise your sin, repent and believe in Jesus, knowing that He is the only way you can be forgiven, because “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).