July 29, 2011
Jesus and the Psalms
The Divinity of Jesus and The Psalms
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I meet people very often who do not understand that Jesus really is God, and always has been. They also tend to misunderstand the truth of the Trinity: the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Three divine Persons, yet only one God. Today, we will look at Jesus teaching on this subject, and how He used a passage in Psalms to illustrate a crucial point concerning His deity.
The Father and Jesus: One God. In John 10:22-30, a crowd of Jews gathered at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem asked Jesus a simple question: “If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus then replied to them that He had already told them, but they would not believe. Jesus also told them to look at His works, because they testify of Him. I am always struck by the purity and power of the replies of Jesus. He pointed to His actions, and not His words. Our works should testify at least as clearly as our words to the testimony of God in our lives. Jesus continued His explanation by telling the crowd that only His sheep hear His voice, and they are not His sheep. Remember, that Jesus came as a Jew to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles like me. He came to His own people, and His own people rejected Him. Some Jews and some Gentiles would hear His voice and follow Jesus; Jesus knows His own and they know Him. Jesus gives those people eternal life and no one will snatch them out of the Father’s hand. With this background in mind, Jesus then proclaims: “I and the Father are one.” The Jews asked if He was Messiah, and He said look at My works and hear My voice. He concludes by saying that He was one with the Father.
The Jews Picked Up Stones To Stone Jesus. In John 10:31-36, Jesus responds to Jews about to kill Him with stones. The Jews indicated they were not killing Jesus because of His good works, but because He blasphemed by making Himself out to be God. Jesus responded by quoting Psalm 82:6, “You are gods . . . .” This Psalm concerns earthly judges who show partiality and neglect justice. They walk in darkness. Jesus had called them gods (notice the little “g”, meaning they were never divine), but they were acting for God in judging the people of Israel. In this context, we see that Jesus answers the charge of the Jews in the most straightforward manner.
You Are gods. The crowd of Jews is unhappy that Jesus called Himself God, and He told them that God called other humans “gods” in their own Law (any reference to the Old Testament may have been called the “Law” by the Jews of that day, or it may refer to the general division between the Law and the Prophets). Jesus essentially forces the Jews to admit that God referred to humans judges as “gods,” just as these Jews tried to sit in judgment upon Him, while sitting in darkness themselves. Jesus then expands upon this basic point by showing them that their own Scriptures, which cannot be broken, calls human judges “gods.” Finally, Jesus then says that if you accept these human judges as “gods” according to the Scripture, why do you call Me a blasphemer whom the Father has sanctified (made holy) and sent into the world (Jesus was not born of a human father, but of the Holy Spirit). Jesus drives home the point that if He does the work of His Father, then they should believe Him. These Jews wanted to know if He was the Messiah, and He proved to them by His words and the work of the Father in Him that He was indeed the Messiah. The Jews adamantly refused to believe all the evidence before them, and denied the deity and personality of Jesus as Messiah. Based upon all the evidence before them, they should have understood that the Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father. The story closes in John 10:39, with the Jews still trying to grasp Jesus, but He eludes them.
So we learn more about Jesus and the Psalms today.
● Jesus knew the crowds and religious leaders were familiar with the Psalms, and He used the Psalms to illustrate His own deity.
● Jesus quoted the Psalm to show that even human judges could be called “gods,” and the Scripture could not be broken.
● Because God called those human judges “gods,” the crowds should have understood that the works and words of Jesus confirmed Him as the Messiah, whom they would not believe.
Application for Today
As I live today, I will remember that Jesus did not back down from showing and declaring by His works that He was one with the Father, and He did the Father’s works. Jesus was, is and always will be God. I trust that Jesus will do His works in me today, that I may glorify my Father and testify by my works and words that Jesus is the only Savior of the world, and He loves everyone I meet today. What will your works and words say about you today?