The Jewish leaders who asked Jesus to tell them if He was the Messiah weren’t asking so they could consider believing in Him. They wanted to hear Him plainly and publicly state what they knew He had already been claiming using other terminology. Then they could put Him on trial for blasphemy.
Jesus, wise to their plan, refused to grant them what they wanted. However, at the same time, He made a claim that believers would easily recognize as being even greater than a claim to being the Messiah, but vague enough that unbelievers would have a difficult time using it as evidence to prosecute Him for blasphemy. That is, Jesus said, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30).
We know that when Jesus spoke of the Father, He was speaking of God the Father, and His claim to be one with Him was a claim to be everything that God was. The Jewish leaders who heard Him say it rightly suspected He was claiming to be God and accused Him of it. But it would be difficult to prosecute Him for blasphemy on such a vague statement. That is why they wanted Him to make a clear claim of being the Messiah.
Realizing that they weren’t going to get a public statement from Jesus that they could use to have Him legally executed, the Jewish leaders decided to take the law into their own hands by stoning Him immediately. In their minds, His claim to be one with the Father was grounds enough to justify His stoning. To them, it mattered not that they were about to end a ministry that was responsible for the healing of thousands of sick and suffering people, raising the dead and feeding the multitudes. It mattered not how Jesus was able to do such things supposedly without God’s endorsement or help. It mattered not that He was sinless.
Jesus even reminded His accusers of a verse in the Old Testament when God spoke of certain leaders as being gods, rulers over their domain. So how could they consider it blasphemous for the one who was sent from heaven to call Himself the Son of God? Jesus’ life works and claims were all the proof anyone should need that He was and is the Messiah, the Son of God!
Q. How do you suppose Jesus escaped the hostile crowds of Jewish leaders who had surrounded Him in the Jerusalem Temple with stones in their hands, ready to kill Him?
A. It seems that He must have had God’s supernatural help. Either God blinded the eyes of those in the crowd, or somehow hid Jesus, or supernaturally transported Him away.
Q. Jesus promised eternal life to those who follow Him, joining His flock, saying that they will never perish in hell. Moreover, He promised that no one will be able to snatch them away from Him like sheep are sometimes stolen from their flock. Does this mean that once a person is saved he could never become unsaved?
A. According to other scriptures, it’s possible for a saved person to become unsaved if he, after truly believing in Jesus, decides in his heart to stop believing. Most people who apparently believe and then become unbelievers probably never truly believed in Jesus in the first place. As true believers in Jesus, we are responsible to continue believing in Him, and as we do, we are assured that we will go to heaven (see Romans 11:22; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2; Philippians 3:17-19; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:12-14). We never have to worry about losing our salvation because of God’s unfaithfulness or weakness!
Application: In today’s reading, Jesus made three incredible claims: (1) “The Father and I are one,” (2) “I am the Son of God,” and (3) “The Father is in me, and I am in the Father” (John 10:30,36,38). Just like today, many didn’t believe Him then. But many did (see John 10:42). And just like to those who believed in Him then, Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him today (see John 10:28).