At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 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.” 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, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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. I and the Father are one.”
The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 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 answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 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’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 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.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. John 10:22-39.
Jesus was accused of blasphemy because He claimed to be the Son of God. But what makes one a Son of God? Jesus quotes the Psalms, which say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” (Psalm 82:6). Men, destined to die, are called gods. It is not the only time that men occupy this dual identity. In Luke 3:38, in the genealogy of Jesus, Adam is identified as the son of God. And it is a New Testament staple that those who believe in Jesus are called sons of God.
The Pharisees did not dare call themselves sons of God. They said they were sons of Abraham. They kept their God at arm’s length. They chose a lower standard. So Jesus had corrected them when He told them they were actually children of the devil, who is the father of lies. We are the children of the one we follow.
It is popular to say that all human beings are God’s children, but this is not true. All humans are made in God’s image, but not all humans have God’s nature. Peter wrote to us this: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Only those who believe God’s word and apply it to their lives are gods among men.