Friday of week 5 of Lent – Gospel


Commentary on John 10:31-42

Once again Jesus’ enemies want to stone him because they continue to accuse him of blasphemy. “You, a man, are making yourself God.” It is clear they have no doubt about the meaning of his words. Jesus points to the Scriptures which has God saying of some people “You are gods”. Jesus is here referring to the people called ‘judges’ in Israel. Since they were judges of their people, taking on themselves something which belongs only to God, they were called “gods” (cf. Deut 1:17; Exod 21:6; Ps 82:6).

If people inspired by the word from God could be called ‘gods’ can Jesus whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blaspheme because he says, “I am the Son of God”? And, if they will not accept a verbal claim, Jesus appeals to what he has been doing. “Even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do.” To anyone with an open mind it is clear that God is working in Jesus. “You will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again, they tried to seize him but he escaped from their power. His time had not yet come. That time would not be decided by them.

On the other hand, while Jesus was being attacked by the leaders of the Jews, many of the ordinary people continued to seek him out. Jesus had gone back across the Jordan (a safer place) to the spot where John the Baptist had baptised and given such strong testimony to Jesus. Many people came looking for him there. They could see, as the Pharisees could not, a clear distinction between Jesus and John: “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true. And many there came to believe in him.” There are many who reject Christ and his message today but let us pray that we may have open minds to believe the many signs by which God reveals his love to us each day.

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