I And The Father Are One (Part 2)

John 10:22-42 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, 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 Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.


Last Sunday we looked at the demand the Jew’s made of Jesus and at Jesus’ initial response to it in vs.22-30. The demand was for Jesus to end the “suspense” and tell “us” “plainly” whether or not “you are the Christ”. And Jesus’ initial response was fivefold: (1) I’ve already told you enough about who I am such that if you don’t believe me about those things, you won’t believe me about this one either. (2) I’ve already shown you enough about who I am such that if my works haven’t already convinced you, neither will speaking more plainly about this. (3) Your unbelief is rooted in the fact that the Father has not yet given you to me. (4) The blessings for those who receive me as the Christ are beyond measure. And (5) I and the Father are one. In all of that we also marveled at the staggering glory of Jesus and the staggering power of sin that keeps us from seeing it apart from God’s grace.

This week, we’ll pick up where we left off—with the Jew’s response to the things Jesus said. Their response, as Jesus so plainly predicted, was persistent disbelief. And their disbelief led them to pick up stones to stone Jesus and then, after an interesting argument by Jesus, to the lesser response of seeking to arrest Jesus. In the end, though, John tells us that there was another group of Jews, a large group, that came to believe in Jesus.

Throughout his Gospel, John has been stacking the glories of Jesus, one on top of the other—glorious things He said, did, was, fulfilled, and promised yet to do. At the same time, he has also been stacking the rejections of the Jews—in anger, slander, intimidation, censure, and murder. The power of sin is seen in the persistent rejection of the Jews and the growing divide between them and Jesus. And the greater power of grace is seen in that in the end, God overcame the disbelief of many. In all of this, we can see that the power of sin is great, but the grace of God is greater still.

My prayer is that you would respond to this sermon by giving yourself in even greater earnestness to praying for and sharing the gospel with the unbelievers in your life and for a greater pursuit of the awe and wonder at the person and saving work of Jesus that ought to drive your prayers and sharing.


Once again, last week, we considered Jesus’ response to the question of the Jews: Are you the Christ? This morning, we’re going to consider the Jew’s response to Jesus’ response. They moved, as we’ll see, from disbelief to murderous intent, to resigned to capture.


Though unstated, that the Jews didn’t believe Jesus’ claims is clear in their response. Because they assumed that Jesus couldn’t be who He said He was, the only other possible conclusion was that He was a blasphemer. And the only acceptable response to that kind of blasphemy was stoning.

There were certain crimes for which the God-commanded penalty was death by stoning. Blasphemy was among them according to Leviticus 24:16. We’ve seen this response before from the Jews. At the end of chapter 8, 58 Jesus said to [the Jews], ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’ 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

As we’ve seen several times already, their logic was mostly sound (though possibly not entirely, as we’ll see in just a bit). If Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, He was a blasphemer who should be stoned according to the law. Their problem was not ultimately in their logic, it was with their first premise (that Jesus could not be the Christ). The main point here is that it was their disbelief in Jesus’ claims that led to the response that followed.

Before we move on, I want you to lock in on the fact that this is how disbelief always works. For non-Christians, those who do not believe in Jesus, the things of Jesus seem foolish; sometimes more, and sometimes less, but always foolish in the end. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul wrote, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing [that is, to those who are without belief].” And when peoples’ unbelief causes Jesus’ teaching to seem foolish, it affects everything. To disbelieve His claims, His commands, His description of the God and the world, His offer of salvation, His promises of what’s to come, and everything else He said, makes it all seem foolish. It can’t not.

But even for Christians, so much of our lives are still shaped by the folly of our disbelief. Every time we sin or are even slow to obey, it’s still only because some (perhaps hidden) pocket of unbelief causes some aspect of Jesus’ teaching or promises to seem foolish to us. If you and I truly believed everything the Word of God says about who He is, who we are, what He’s doing, and what it means to live the fullest life, if none of it seemed at least a little silly to us, we’d walk continually in the kind of perfect peace, joy, love, courage, and obedience we see in Jesus. In other words, practically, this means that every time we skip a quite time, or talk trash, or hesitate to evangelize, or fear man, or get more excited about our hobbies than Jesus, or spend our money on worldly things, or look at filth on the internet, it’s rooted in some form of unbelief and the folly that accompanies it.

Therefore, Grace, consider the folly of the response of the Jews to the Son of God standing before them, recognize that it stemmed from their unbelief in the truths of God, and then aim your prayers directly and consistently at your own remaining unbelief and that of the people in your life, in order that they and we might live in the wisdom and abundance Jesus came to bring.


Again, it was the unbelief of the Jews that caused them to respond to Jesus as they did. And it was because the Jews persisted in unbelief, that they persisted in attempting to carry out the due penalty for one who falsely claims to be God (for blasphemy). Zealous for the law and incensed by all that Jesus said, the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus (31).

Before they could launch the first stone, in a further attempt to reveal the folly of the Jews and help them to see the truth, Jesus asked, 32 … “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”

We considered these “good works from the Father” last week (turned water into wine (2:11), miraculously healed an official’s son (4:43-54), healed a man crippled from birth (5:1-9), fed the 5,000+ (6:1-5), walked on water (6:16-25), healed a man born blind (9), and performed many other signs at that time as well (2:23, 3:2)).

Jesus’ point here is simple and familiar. “As you consider what to do with My words, consider the things you’ve seen Me do. I’ve made big claims to be sure, but to prove that they are from the Father, I’ve done marvelous works that could only come from someone who is one with the Father. You would do well to weigh the spectacular things you hear from Me against the equally spectacular things you see in Me. If I hadn’t done the things I’ve done, your skepticism and unbelief about the things I’ve said might be warranted, but if you can bring yourselves to believe your eyes, you ought to believe your ears too.”

There is a similar principle for you and I as well. We must preach the gospel to the world, but we must also live lives that testify to the truthfulness of what we teach. One of the means God uses to convince people of the truthfulness of the gospel is its transforming power in the lives of Christians. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” Matthew (5:16). If you are going to proclaim the gospel’s power to forgive, free, and transform, it should be obvious that your message makes the most sense if your life is marked by the holiness, humility, freedom, courage, and love that comes from having been forgiven and accepted by God.

In the same way, who are you most likely to believe when they tell you of the effectiveness of a muscle building pill, someone who is puny or someone who is ripped? Or of a diet pill, someone who is fit or someone who is way over weight? Or of a golf coach, a scratch golfer or a 25 handicap? Or of a parenting book, someone whose kids are unusually well behaved or exceptionally disobedient?

Ultimately, it is the grace of God that opens the eyes of the spiritually blind. In that way, God is not somehow prevented from being able to save someone because of our hypocrisy, but Jesus’ example and our charge is clear. In our ministry, we are to call people to look at our lives as evidence of the truthfulness of our message.

Well, would this work on the Jews? Would Jesus recalling His good works convince the Jews to rethink their disbelief? Jesus’ good works only served to incense the Jews when He first performed them. Instead of standing in awe as they should have, they angrily accused Him of breaking the Sabbath when He healed the man born blind (in chapter 5), for instance. But would it land any differently this time around? Look at v.33 to find out.

“The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’”

Jesus’ point fell on deaf ears yet again.

Jesus’ Interlude

Not yet ready to give up, however, Jesus changed His tactics a bit once again. As He often did, Jesus used the Jews’ own exegesis against them. Look at v.34.

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 Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

This needs a bit of explaining.

In v.34 Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6-7. In full, those two verses read,

6 I said, “You are gods,
    sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.”

It was agreed upon by the Jews that this Psalm recalled God speaking to His people, most likely to the Israelites after having received the law from God, through Moses when he met with God on Mt. Siani. The idea that Jesus was trying to impress upon them is that God called the ordinary Israelites (Jews) (“them…to whom the word of God came”) “gods” and “sons of the Most High.”

Jesus took their interpretation of this Psalm and used it against them. If the Jews who were questioning Jesus understood that passage to teach that God Himself called “all of you” “gods,” then why would it be blasphemous for Jesus to refer to Himself as the Son of God, which is an even lesser claim? Jesus pressed His point even more in stating, this is “your law” and your interpretation of it. And we all know that the “Scripture cannot be broken.” In other words, if it was true then as you say, it is true today. If it wasn’t blasphemy for God to say it of His people then (“you are gods”), why would it be blasphemy for me to say something lesser today (“I am the Son of God)?

It’s not entirely clear if Jesus believed the Jewish interpretation of Psalm 82 or if He was just using it against them because that’s what they believed. What’s more, there were certainly some things Jesus said that would have been blasphemous if they were not true, even if this wasn’t one of them. Regardless, however, it seems that Jesus’ argument landed (if we are to read the switch of the Jews from stoning to arresting as a lessening of the sentence pronounced on Jesus).

Returning, then, to His previous argument, Jesus said, 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Jesus effectively said to the Jews that even on their own terms, they were wrong to respond to Him as they did. And then He used that to point them back, once again, to His miracles—they show that my words are to be believed because they, like my works, are from the Father (who is in Me, and I am in Him).

One practical thing for us to see here, Grace Church, is that bad doctrine is bad. And one aspect of the badness of bad doctrine is that it always has holes. The reason the Jews could be tripped up doctrinally by Jesus is because their doctrine was off to begin with. And like all bad doctrine, theirs couldn’t consistently and comprehensively explain the world. They had wrongly concluded certain things about the Christ that prevented them from recognizing the Christ when He came.

It’s a silly example, but a long time ago, I had no idea what a hamster looked like. Therefore, when I saw my sister’s pet hamster scurrying around on the floor in our living room, I could only assume it was a mouse. I was a bit confused by how unelusive it was as I went after it, but since I had already (wrongly) concluded it was a mouse I wasn’t deterred from my quest to kill it.

In that way, one of the things I tell skeptics regularly is that Christianity is uniquely able to explain everything we experience in this life because it is uniquely true. Christianity is uniquely able to explain why hard things exist, why we have a sense of morality, why there are different kinds of things, where genuine meaning and purpose comes from, why we have longings for things we cannot see, and on and on.

There have been a number of alternative, competing worldviews that have gained a foothold and showed some measure of staying power over time. But every one of them has holes in it that will eventually be discovered. Atheism’s gaping hole is its complete inability to explain our innate sense of morality and meaning. The gaping hole in all other religions is their inability to offer a satisfying means of atonement. The gaping hole in the transgender movement is its inability to account for basic biology. The gaping hole in the sexual revolution is its attempt to suggest that there can be any legitimate constraints on desire. The gaping hole in modern notion of government as the solution to every problem is its observable inability to solve any problem.

The truth alone, which is given to us in God’s Word alone, because God alone is truth, has no holes.


Again, perhaps convinced, or at least tempered by Jesus’ exegetical argument, the Jews seem to have put their stones down and determined instead merely to arrest Jesus.

39 Again they sought to arrest him. “But,” as has been the case several times before, since His time still had not yet come, “[Jesus] escaped from their hands.

Jesus’ time was merely a couple of months away, but it was not yet. Therefore, as John has made clear over and over, since nothing can thwart the providence of God, Jesus was able walk away untouched by the ever-increasingly incensed Jewish leaders.


The glory of Jesus is beyond measure. Consider Jesus’ glory, Grace Church, and be amazed. If even a tiny fraction of John’s description of Jesus and Jesus’ claims about Himself are accurate, Jesus is more glorious than anyone or anything else we’ve ever seen. But then consider the destructive power of sin, such that it can blind us from that kind of glory. Learn from this the horrible nature and shocking power of sin. Sin is not to be taken lightly. It kills and destroys everyone who serves it. It cannot be tamed by anyone born of man. We are right to tremble at its devastating and universal effects. Once, and only once, we have truly considered the glory of Jesus and the horror of sin, can we begin to truly grasp the amazingness of the grace of God that can overcome that kind of sin and reconcile us to that kind of glory.

And it is for that reason that what we read in v.42 can be true.

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

The Jews in Solomon’s Portico persisted in their unbelief because their sin had so thoroughly blinded them to the glory in front of them and the grace offered to them. But by the grace of God, the Jews in Batanea (“the place where John had been baptizing at first”) were given eyes to see and, therefore, “many believed in [Jesus] there.”

Once again, Grace, sin goes all the way down in us and destroys all of us. But the grace of God, which came in the person of Jesus Christ, goes deeper and heals more thoroughly still. There is no part of you that sin has not touched and will not eventually destroy, but there is also no part of you that the grace of God, won by Jesus, cannot reach and restore. This is the power of the cross. Awesome!


Once again, in this passage we’re given the story of another aspect of the glory of Jesus, the blinding power of sin, and the greater grace of God. As I mentioned in the beginning, my steady prayer throughout the week has been that God would be pleased to cause us to grow in amazement at the waves of the glories of Jesus that continue to break upon us in John’s Gospel. I’ve prayed as well that God would use this text to help us consider in greater measure the power of sin to so thoroughly blind and the boldness of Jesus to continue to proclaim the truth in the midst of such opposition.

I urge you, therefore to take these truths displayed in this passage and pray in greater earnestness for, and share the gospel in greater courage with, the non-Christians in your life. Don’t let up on your pursuit of taking in all the glories of Jesus or prayerfully sharing them with the world. Please feel the urgency to take this beyond basic agreement and vague, general application to memorizing specific glory-passages and praying for and sharing with specific people.

And finally, as you do these things, consider carefully your definition of ministry success. Do you have a category for ministry success looking like it did in Jesus’ life? If anyone’s ministry has ever been “successful,” it must have been Jesus’ ministry. And yet, the very Son of God, the very Christ we proclaim, “succeeded” in watching as most of the people He declared the good news to ultimately rejected Him. And in that way, have you considered the fact that ministry “success” is simply living consistently as a Christian, sharing the gospel in truth and love, and calling people to respond to it in faith? Live authentically, pray earnestly, share boldly, and rest thoroughly as you entrust the results to God.