Live like a god, die like a man

Our pastor is doing a study of the book of John at church in his sermons. We are in John chapter 10 where Jesus has finally told the Jews directly that He is the Son of God. He is promptly accused of blasphemy. Jesus’ answer to them is in John 10:34 “Is it not written in your law, I SAID, “YOU ARE GODS.”
A couple of the questions we have been asked about this passage are:

1) Jesus quotes from Psalm 82:6 the phrase “I said, ‘You are gods.’” What does this phrase mean?

2) The reference is to those “to whom the word of God came.” Who were these men? And how did being inspired make them different from any other person?

To answer both questions at once I believe the “gods” refer to the rulers and judges of the time who of course had received their authority directly from God. As such some of His honor had been bestowed upon them. So much so they had been elevated as gods above the people in their own minds even if not in reality. However, the Psalms go on to say that these gods would die like ordinary men be they wicked or good. Their god-like status buys them nothing.

The crowd Jesus is addressing most likely contained a number of Pharisees and Sadducees. These church leaders would most likely have understood he was referring to them with the above verse from Psalms.  They would further understand that Jesus was referring to their overly high opinion of themselves and ultimately their end. As such they probably had a lot to do with the reaction that ensued from the crowd. The crowd tried to seize Jesus but He quickly slipped away.

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