Bible Question:

My question has to do with John 10:34-35 and Psalm 82:6. Why would Jesus say that we are gods? There is only one God. Is this just another way of referring to judges, leaders, and rulers whose tasks are divinely appointed? The use of the word “god” is unsettling. Is this the reason why Mormons believe everyone is a god?

Bible Answer:

Some of the Jewish religious leaders had just threatened to stone Jesus because He had said that He was God (John 10:33). So Jesus challenged them with the fact that God had said in Psalm 82:6,

Jesus answered them, “”Has it not been written in your Law, ”I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken) . . .” John 10:34-35 (NASB)

Psalm 82:6

Psalm 82 is directed at the Jewish leaders who were being partial in their treatment of others. They were showing partiality to the wicked, and not helping the weak, fatherless, afflicted, and the poor. They were abusive, self-serving leaders.

God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers. How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.  Psalm 82:1-4 (NASB)

Therefore, God challenged them to help those in need, but they did not care. God knew that they would not change even before He warned them; therefore, He rebuked them saying they were acting like gods. They acted like gods; therefore, they were going to die just like mortal men. There was nothing special about them.

They do not know nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, “You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. “Nevertheless you will die like men and fall like any one of the princes.” Psalm 82:5-7 (NASB)

Psalm 82 is a rebuke of the religious leaders who were acting like gods. It reveals the fact that when we ignore God’s wishes, we are acting like little gods.

John 10:30-33

Now we will return to John 10. This heated conversation between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders had started when Jesus said “I and the Father are one.”

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” Jesus answered them . . . do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?  John 10:30-34a, 36 (NASB)

When Jesus said that He and the Father were one, Jesus used a Greek word that refers to cardinal number one. This means that Jesus was not saying He and the father were one in purpose. He claimed that He and the Father were the same God.

The religious leaders understood what Jesus was saying. Look at their words. They said, “. . . because you being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” They understood that Jesus was claiming He was God. Some people want to say that Jesus never claimed to be God. The religious leaders knew what Jesus was claiming. Therefore, the religious leaders wanted to stone Jesus.

Then Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6.

Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in  your  Law, ‘ I said, You are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken) . . . John 10:34-35  (NASB)

Jesus uses this passage as a rebuke to the religious leaders. Psalm 82:6 rebuked the religious of Israel who acted like they were gods, when they were not God. Then Jesus uses this passage to declare that He is not falsely claiming to be God. The truth is Jesus was and is God. Then Jesus said look at My works as proof that I am God.

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that  the Father is in Me, and I in the Father. John 10:37-38 (NASB)

Conclusion:

This is an awesome passage of scripture. It very clearly tells us that Jesus is God, and when Jesus said I am the “Son of God” He was claiming to be God. That is why the religious leaders wanted to kill Him. Jesus’ reference to Psalm 82:6 was used to rebuke the religious leaders who were acting just like the religious leaders of Israel when Psalm 82:6 was written.  Then He used it to make the point that He was not pretending to be God. In fact, He was and is God. They needed to look at His works which proved He was God.

 

Reference Links:

What does Son of Man and Son of God mean?
Is Jesus God?
Jesus is Superior to Angels
Jesus Is the Great I Am
Are we little gods?