Ye Are Gods? #2

Thursday, March 14, 2013

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34 KJV).

What did Jesus Christ mean in today’s Scripture?

The Jews want to stone Jesus Christ to death because He has claimed to be equal with God (verses 29,30,33). Jesus justifies Himself by quoting Psalm 82:6, which is God speaking to human rulers: “Ye are gods.” For me and other inquisitive Christians, this verse seemed odd. Firstly, why did God refer to mere men as “gods?” Secondly, what does Psalm 82:6 have to do with Jesus Christ’s situation in John chapter 10? Why did He even quote it?

Firstly, man is not equal to God, for the creature is inferior to his Creator. There is one God (1 Corinthians 8:4-6), and all of creation is nothing in His sight (Isaiah 40:12-31). Thus, obviously, Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34 are utilizing the word “gods” idiomatically. Here, the literal sense—that men are actually gods—is nonsense. It must be a “play on words.”

According to Psalm 82, God ordained Israel’s leaders to educate the nation in light of His Word, to rule His people with godliness and honesty. Israel was a theocracy—God ruled her through kings, prophets, priests, judges, et cetera. Nevertheless, Psalm 82 says these leaders are ungodly and cruel. They are not fulfilling God’s will, they are not executing proper judgment in Israel, and they are not ruling Israel as God would rule her: “God standeth among the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah [Rest/Pause]. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted… I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes” (verses 1-7).

Thus, God will have to come and personally rule Israel and accomplish His will without those leaders: “Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations” (verse 8). This parallels the situation in John chapter 10. Israel’s leaders, and even the common Jews, are still wicked….