JOHN 10:29-42 JESUS SAID “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE”

12May

John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 "I and My Father are one." 31 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 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. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true." 42 And many believed in Him there.

     In this great section of Scripture we see the eternal security of the believer expressed again as Jesus says, No one is greater than God, so they cannot take anything away from God that belongs to Him.  Then Jesus tells them again that He is one with the Father.  In every way possible Jesus is like God the Father because He is God in human flesh. Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. These verses tell us that Jesus is God, He created everything, He holds it all together, and He is the preeminent one (the one who has first place in everything).  Then the Pharisees want to stone Jesus and He asks them why, for what good work do you stone Me.  They understood He was saying He was God, so they say it is not for a good work, but because you claim to be God.  Jesus tries to tell them again He is God and came from the Father, but they still won’t believe and so they try to seize Him and He escapes from them because it is not time for Him to die yet.  He then goes to where John had baptized and many believe He is the Christ and are saved at that location.

“Snatch” (“ravenous wolves, robbers”). This is a fitting word here for the same verb is used in 10:12, “the wolf attacks” (lit., “snatches away”).

The sheep feel secure (3:16; 6:39; 17:12; 18:9).

29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.

The greatness of the Father, not of the flock, is the ground of the safety of the flock.

He makes it very clear that the salvation and (eternal) security of the sheep are not the result of our sheepish efforts, but rather the sovereign will and working of God.[1] The Father chose us for salvation and gave us to the Son. It is the

No one overrules His will. No one overpowers Him. No one nullifies what He has achieved. No one takes away those He has purchased.

Jesus had promised this security in Galilee (6:37, 39). No wolf, no thief, no bandit, no hireling, no demon, not even the devil can pluck the sheep out of my hand. Colossians 3:3–4 (ESV) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

It is obvious that the only one who can separate us from God’s love is ourselves (cf. Rom. 8:38–39; Gal. 5:2–4).

 30 "I and My Father are one."

Not one person but one essence or nature. Colossians 2:9 (ESV) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

They have the closest possible unity of purpose. Jesus’ will is identical to the Father’s regarding the salvation of His sheep. And yet absolute identity of wills involves identity of nature. Jesus and the Father are One in will (and also in nature for both are God; John 1:1, John 5:18, John 8:58, 10:18

He meant that He and the Father were one in their action. This explanation also harmonized with the context since Jesus had said that He would keep His sheep safe (v. 28) and His Father would keep them safe (v. 29).

The Jews had asked Jesus for a plain statement about His Messiah ship. Jesus gave them far more, a claim that He fully and completely carried out the Father's will that strongly hinted at Jesus' deity

This statement is the climax of Christ’s claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

It is not the word that is used before (ch.8:59), but great stones, stones that were a load, such as they used in stoning malefactors. They brought them from some place at a distance, as it were preparing things for his execution without any judicial process; as if he were convicted of blasphemy upon the notorious evidence of the fact, which needed no further trial.

 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"

it was not for His works but for His words that they were going to kill Him. The reader should realize by now that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be, one with the Father and more than a mere mortal. A man was not making Himself out to be God, but God had made Himself a man (1:1, 14, 18).

 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."

The response of the Jews to our Lord’s challenge is amazing. In effect, they are saying, “Oh, we don’t look at your words in relation to your works; we view them separately.” Only those who are great hypocrites find this feat easy to accomplish. Their words and their works are not related (Matthew 23:1-3), and so they do not care that Jesus’ words and works are completely consistent. They are not about to be confused with the facts when their minds are already made up. They conclude (wrongly, of course) that Jesus is merely a man, and thus His claim to be God must be blasphemy. In their minds, He deserves to die.

If Jesus did not really claim to be God, He could easily have corrected the Jews' misunderstanding here. The fact that He did not is further proof that the Jews correctly understood that He was claiming to be 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),

The psalm ends: “Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.”

Can they not see what both our Lord and this psalm are saying? This psalm is not just a text Jesus has chosen to stump His adversaries. It is not a cute trick, which shames those who would pose trick questions to Messiah. He is the fulfillment of this psalm, as they are. They are the “gods” whom God is coming to judge. They are the “gods” who will die like men; He is the God who will die to save His sheep, only to rise again from the dead. This text says it all, but they cannot see it, for they are blind, while He is the light of the world. They cannot hear, for He is not their shepherd.

His critics. He wanted them to see that the divine terms that He was using to describe Himself were terms that the Old Testament itself also used of human beings. They could not logically accuse Him of blasphemy because the Father had set Him aside and sent Him into the world with a special mission. He was a legitimate Son of God for this reason.

If your judges could be called gods, are you going to call Me a blasphemer because I say I'm the Son of God when your judges were here on earth and the word came to them, and I came from there with the Word?  Don't I deserve even a greater title?" 

As the Jews had sanctified their temple after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanies, so God had sanctified His Son. The Jews celebrated the sanctification of their physical temple with the Feast of Dedication, but they were unwilling to accept the spiritual temple that replaced it, namely, Jesus.

 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 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.

The response of the Jews to our Lord’s challenge is amazing. In effect, they are saying, “Oh, we don’t look at your words in relation to your works; we view them separately.” Only those who are great hypocrites find this feat easy to accomplish. Their words and their works are not related (Matthew 23:1-3), and so they do not care that Jesus’ words and works are completely consistent. They are not about to be confused with the facts when their minds are already made up. They conclude (wrongly, of course) that Jesus is merely a man, and thus His claim to be God must be blasphemy. In their minds, He deserves to die.

 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed.

John presented Jesus' departure from Jerusalem as the result of official rejection of Him. The event had symbolic significance that the evangelist probably intended. Jesus withdrew the opportunity for salvation from the people there because they refused to accept His gracious offer of salvation.  Evidently, Jesus went from Jerusalem back to Bethany in Perea on the east side of the Jordan River where the Jewish rulers had no authority to pursue Him (cf. 1:28).

 41 Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true."

 42 And many believed in Him there.

It is not yet His appointed time to die for His sheep, and so Jesus retreats to the more desolate and distant places along the Jordan river, which John the Baptist used to frequent in his ministry. We do not know exactly where this was, and likely, our Lord’s enemies do not know either. That is the point of His retreat. While our Lord’s enemies do not come to Him there, many others find Him in this place. It would seem that Jesus performed a number of miracles there from the words of those who compare His ministry with that of John: “John performed no miraculous sign, but everything John said about this man was true!

These words are recorded by John here for a reason that is very much related to the point of this passage. I have suggested that while the theme of shepherding is prominent, so is the relationship between our Lord’s words and His works.

My point is this: Many of the Jews believed that John the Baptist was a true prophet (see Matthew 21:26). They believed his words, even though he did not perform any miraculous works. And yet the Jews in Jerusalem (especially the religious leaders) will not believe Jesus’ words, even though He does many miraculous works. What a contrast John draws between these “Jordan River” Jews and the sophisticated Jews of Jerusalem. In contrast to our Lord’s rejection in Jerusalem, many are believing in Him who come to Him at the Jordan River.

And so we see that those who are His sheep have more than enough reason to believe, and that those who are not will never have enough evidence to believe.

First, this text strongly teaches the sovereignty of God, especially as it relates to the salvation and the security of His sheep. Those who resist such teaching should consider the fact that the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is not a flattering one. Is this not the principle reason we are inclined to reject it? The doctrine of God’s sovereignty glorifies God, and not men. It stresses His work, and not our works. It is this very teaching that the Jewish opponents of our Lord react to so strongly. Does this not serve to warn those who would seek to reject this teaching today, here in our text? This does not mean that the Bible ignores human responsibility, but it does mean that our salvation and our security are in His hands, and not ours. For that we should rejoice, not resist.

Second, this text reminds us of the necessary link between what we say and what we do, between our profession and our practice. Jesus constantly challenges His adversaries to consider the relationship between His words and His works. He also rebukes the Pharisees for their lack of consistency in these matters. Let us take heed. Let us be sure that what we say we believe is also what we behave.

Third, this text says much about leaders and leadership. It reminds us that leaders have been given their place of authority to carry out their roles as God’s agents. It certainly indicates to us that those of us under such divinely ordained authority should submit to it, as to the Lord. But in addition, the message is loud and clear that those leaders who fail to fulfill their mission as “good” shepherds will someday stand before the Great Shepherd and give account for their deeds. In this day when leaders seem to be getting away with murder, let us never forget this truth.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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[1] Morris puts it this way: “It is one of the precious things about the Christian faith that our continuance in eternal life depends not on our feeble hold on Christ, but on His firm grip on us.” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971) p. 521.

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