Father and Son

Scripture Reading

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
“John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true.”
And many there began to believe in him.
(John 10:31-42)

Scripture Study

10:34 your law: Sometimes this expression refers to the OT in general and not just to the Pentateuch (12:34; 15:25; 1 Cor 14:34). I said, you are gods: A citation from Ps 82:6. ● The psalm is a prayer for Yahweh to punish the corrupt shepherds of Israel. These leaders, who are charged with teaching and enforcing divine Law, are called “gods” by the Psalmist because of the divine authority they wield over the people. The abuse of this power makes their corruption all the more insidious. Jesus reasons that if sinful authorities are given a divine title because of their duties, how much more is he entitled to it who is guiltless and who speaks the words of God (8:45–47).

10:35 Scripture cannot be nullified: Three implications can be drawn from this statement. (1) Scripture cannot be set aside, since its teaching is as trustworthy and true as God himself (17:17). (2) The OT, represented in this context by a psalm, has permanent authority even under the New Covenant (Mt 5:17). (3) The authority of Scripture extends even to individual words, as in this context where Jesus’ whole argument rests on the import of a single word (“gods”) from Ps 82:6.

10:36 consecrated: The Greek means to be “sanctified” or “set apart as holy”. Christ is set apart by the Father to consecrate the world in truth (17:19). ● Jesus’ words resonate against the background of the Feast of the Dedication, which celebrates the consecration of the Second Temple by the Maccabees (1 Mac 4:48), just as its predecessors, the wilderness Tabernacle (Num 7:1) and the Solomonic Temple, had been consecrated (1 Kings 9:3). These sanctuaries of old are replaced by the new and consecrated temple of Jesus’ body (2:20–21).

10:38 believe the works: The miracles of Jesus are meant to authenticate his mission in the eyes of Israel (5:36; 14:11) and to corroborate his claims to divinity (5:18; 10:33). The Jews knew that only God, who has absolute power over creation, can suspend the laws of nature in a miraculous way (3:2; 9:33) (CCC 548).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jewish leaders attempt to stone Jesus because he claimed to be the Son of God. He defended his identity, saying “If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

At the Last Supper, Jesus would further explain his intimate relationship with the Father. There he lays out for us the co-inherence that obtains at the most fundamental dimension of being, that is to say, within the very existence of God. “Lord,” Philip said to him, “show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus replied, “Philip, after I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

How can this be true, unless the Father and the Son coinhere in each other? Though Father and Son are truly distinct, they are utterly implicated in each other by a mutual act of love. As Jesus says, “It is the Father who lives in me accomplishing his works.”

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.