v24. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, how long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
The Jews came asking Jesus to supply them with a definite answer. It was as though Jesus did not spell out His messianic mission clear enough to them and now their patience is running thin for a thorough explanation. However, it is obvious that Jesus did announce himself rather clearly and quite a many believed his pronouncement and followed him. The enquirers were merely seeking an answer that fitted into their narrow perception of the messiah and had not the sincerity of the heart to know the Truth.
v25. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
Jesus, in entertaining their question revealed the hardness of their heart; he did announce himself, his disciples did announce him so has the Baptist, and many others who had an encounter with him. His enquirers probably had seen Jesus’ work and heard his preaching, these summing up is the seal of approval from the Father concerning Jesus, but they would not believed because of their stubbornness.
v26 – 30. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
Their unbelief, however, was not a handicap in the sovereignty of God. Though man thought by persisting revolt and violent revolution they might overturn the kingship of God, his plans were conceived in vain, for within that sovereign will of God was he allowed to exercise his wicked rebellion against Him. They that believed not are infact not of them that would believe, not of them which the Saviour came to gather, not of the sheep in the good Shepherd’s pen and not of them among the elects. The enquirers’ rejection was expected! Jesus contrasted them with his people; they knew him the moment he came up to them as if it was an acquaintance forged a long time ago. Such is the response of the regenerated persons to the call of the Saviour, they followed him away. And to these were rewarded Life, a life that is fulfilling, purposeful, abound and eternal. And to these was granted protection from all disasters, they perish not and none shall and can snatch them away, these sheep, from the Shepherd’s hand. What great strength and might did the Christ have; it was the same omnipotence of the Father! Wherefore only God is almighty and omnipotent, Jesus is God.
v31 – 33. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
The audience of the present day may misinterpret or misunderstand Jesus’ words, but it was clear to the Jews then that in announcing I and the Father are one, Jesus was putting himself as equal to God, being God himself. The Leviticus law pronounced a capital punishment by stoning upon those who worship others than God, it is an abomination and a great blasphemy to ascribe equal to God that which is not. Therefore, the Jews remembering their laws and the main percept of their religion, Hear O Israel, YAHOVAH thy God, YAHOVAH is One, and realizing that Jesus proclaimed himself to be equal to God, became justifiably angry for they had not believe the witness of his work and wanted to stone him.
v34 – 39. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand …
What doest the puny minds of men understand concerning the Deity! For the judges of the world was called gods, they whose time is but a little while, and whose life is but a straw in the wild winds and wild fires; how much more then, he who judges the world, who is above all time and space, immovable, immutable and unchanged from eternity to eternity, be worthily the EL ELOHI – Almighty God! The blasphemers turned out to be the enquirers who accused, for they believed not the truth and in the stead, exchanged the glorious truth of the Deity for a lie. Jesus, as if exposing further their ignorance of divine things charged them to ought to at least recognize the business that he was about. That was the work only God may be capable of: Ye who failed to see the Divinity of Jesus through his manly vessel, does thee not know the works of his hand? Surely the godly are familiar with the operations of God! And again, Jesus declared, “I and my Father are one”.