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
To the Jews Jesus' statement that he and the Father were one was blasphemy. The Jewish law laid down the penalty of stoning for blasphemy (see Leviticus 24:16). So they made their preparations to stone Jesus. The Greek here literally means that they went and fetched stones to fling at him. Jesus met their hostility by refreshing their memory of reality:
He told them that he had spent all of his days doing heavenly things—healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the grieving—deeds so full of help and beauty and grace that they obviously came from God. For which of these did they wish to stone him? Their answer was that it was not for anything he had done, that they wished to stone him, but for the claim he was making.
Jesus claimed primarily two things for himself: He was 'consecrated' by God and 'sent' by God into the world with a message of good news and the task of reconciliation; "For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them" (see II Corinthians 5:18-20).
I am not asking you to accept all of my words, Jesus said in effect, but I do ask you to accept my good deeds. A 'word' is something which people can argue about; but a 'deed' is something beyond argument. Jesus is the perfect teacher in that he does not base his claims only on what he says, but on what he is and does. His invitation to the Jews was to base their verdict on him, not on what he said, but on what he did; and that, my friends, is something which all of Jesus' followers should be willing to do—build God's kingdom with good deeds, not just with words. Amen.
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
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