The Pharisees picked up rocks to kill Jesus again.

This time he said, “I and the Father are one” John 10:30, and they freaked out about it.

Smartly, Jesus reminds them of the power he displayed, that they had all witnessed, as he asks, “Which of the good deeds that I’ve done are you preparing to kill me for?” They reply, “Not for good deeds, but for you, a mere man, making yourself out to be God!”

Then, Jesus gave them something to think about that they were not ready for. He quotes Psalm 82:6 to them. Psalm 82 is a tricky passage for modern scholars and for modern believers. Perhaps it was a tricky passage for the Jews at that time too. Psalm 82:1 uses the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, followed by singular modifiers indicating the one true God. Then, it uses Elohim along with plural modifiers indicating gods that are subject to the one true God. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

Verse 6 uses Elohim again in the plural and explains that these beings are sons of God. I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;”

Psalm 82 seems to be a divine reckoning or a divine pronouncement on angels that have forsaken their roles and service to the Lord. Some theologians argue that it is a referendum to the corrupt kings of the earth. Men were elevated to kingly and God-given positions and were given earthly authority that was absolute amongst men, almost divine, but paltry compared to God’s ultimate authority.

Maybe the Pharisees argued over the same idea. Does this reference to “gods” who are “sons of the most high” refer to heavenly beings or to men? It is likely that some of the Pharisees standing there with rocks in hand to kill Jesus had argued that this passage referred to men. So, in a moment of quick thinking, Jesus brings up the passage. John 10:34-36:

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’?

This line of reasoning made them pause. It says they still sought to arrest him but gave up trying to kill him right there. Jesus taught his disciples, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise (or shrewd) as serpents and innocent as doves” Matt 10:16. Pray that we will be quick with our thinking and that our knowledge and trust of the Bible will be strong enough to help us in every situation.

John Riley
Junior High Pastor

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