“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and[f]believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.” John 10.31-39
Since it the beginning of Holy Week, it’s difficult not to read this in light of the upcoming events of Jesus suffering, death and resurrection. He who shed blood for the sins of the world died so we might live. He gave his life so we could have eternal life to come.
In this passage, Jesus is facing stoning by the Jews for professing himself to be one with God, the Son of God, and God himself. Of course if this were any other person, the stoning might be justified by the Jews. But because he is who he said he is, and because he does the work of the Father, the punishment is unjust.
This segment book-ends once at the beginning and again at the end with the threatened seizure and harm to Jesus — “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him,” v.31, and “Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand,” v.39.
Why would Jesus be so relentless in telling the good news? Why would he be so concerned with revealing himself to the Jews while suffering persecution, rejection and rebuke? Because they are his people. God chose the Jews to be his and he came first for their salvation (Romans 1.16). Could Jesus have done it a different way? Why did blood have to be shed for the forgiveness of sins?
God came to earth in the suit of a man to make us right with the Father. Jesus was relentless when facing opposition because he wanted us to regain our standing as God’s children. He came first for the Jews but also for the Gentiles. He came so we might find salvation and spend eternity with the Father.
Too few people know this truth today. Why not share this good news of God’s love with someone this week? Invite them to participate in the truth of the Gospels during this Holy Week.
“O Lord God, you put your life at risk, and indeed lost it, by bringing a message of truth, love and grace to the world. Whereas the Jews rejected you, you rose from the dead and brought new life. Come now, Holy Spirit, help me find my rest in you. Help me recognize this Holy Week the reason to rejoice and to draw closer to you. Thank you for saving me for my sins and helping me win the battle against sin and death forever. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen