Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 10:38

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Believe the works - Though ye do not now credit what I have said to you, yet consider my works, and then ye will see that these works prove that I am in the Father and the Father in me; and, consequently, that I and the Father are one. This seems to be the force of our Lord's argument; and every man must see and feel that it is conclusive. There was no possibility of weakening the force of this reasoning but by asserting that these miracles were not wrought by the power of God; and then they must have proved that not only a man, but a bad man, such as they said Jesus was, could work these miracles. As this was impossible, then the argument of Christ had a complete triumph.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 34-38

Jesus answered them - The answer of Jesus consists of two parts. The first John 10:34-36 shows that they ought not to object to his use of the word God, even if he were no more than a man. The second John 10:37-38 repeats substantially what he had before said, left the same impression, and in proof of it he appealed to his works.

John 10:34

In your law - Psalm 82:6. The word “law” here, is used to include the Old Testament.

I said - The Psalmist said, or God said by the Psalmist.

Ye are gods - This was said of magistrates on account of the dignity and honor of their office, and it shows that the Hebrew word translated “god,” אלהים ̀elohiymin that place might be applied to man. Such a use of the word is, however, rare. See instances in Exodus 7:1; Exodus 4:16.

John 10:35

Unto whom the word of God came - That is, who were his servants, or who received their dignity and honor only because the law of God was intrusted to them. “The Word of God” here means the command of God; his commission to them to do justice.

The scripture cannot be broken - See Matthew 5:19. The authority of the Scripture is final; it cannot be set aside. The meaning is, “If, therefore, the Scripture uses the word “god” אלהים ̀elohiymas applied to magistrates, it settles the question that it is right to apply the term to those in office and authority. If applied to them, it may be to others in similar offices. It cannot, therefore, be blasphemy to use this word as applicable to a personage so much more exalted than mere magistrates as the Messiah.”

John 10:36

Whom the Father hath sanctified - The word “sanctify” with us means to make holy; but this is not its meaning here, for the Son of God was always holy. The original word means to set apart from a common to a sacred use; to devote to a sacred purpose, and to designate or consecrate to a holy office. This is the meaning here. God has consecrated or appointed his Son to be his Messenger or Messiah to mankind. See Exodus 28:41; Exodus 29:1, Exodus 29:44; Leviticus 8:30.

And sent into the world - As the Messiah, an office far more exalted than that of magistrates.

I am the Son of God - This the Jews evidently understood as the same as saying that he was equal with God. This expression he had often applied to himself. The meaning of this place may be thus expressed: “You charge me with blasphemy. The foundation of that charge is the use of the name God, or the Son of God, applied to myself; yet that same term is applied in the Scriptures to magistrates. The use of it there shows that it is right to apply it to those who sustain important offices (see the notes of John 10:34-35). And especially you, Jews, ought not to attempt to found a charge of blasphemy on the application of a word to the Messiah which in your own Scriptures is applied to all magistrates. And we may remark here:

1.That Jesus did not deny that he meant to apply the term to himself.

2.He did not deny that it was properly applied to him.

3.He did not deny that it implied that he was God. He affirmed only that they were inconsistent, and were not authorized to bring a charge of blasphemy for the application of the name to himself.

John 10:37

The works of my Father - The very works that my Father does. See John 5:17; “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” See the note on that place. The works of his Father are those which God only can do. As Jesus did them, it shows that the name “Son of God,” implying equality with God, was properly applied to him. This shows conclusively that he meant to be understood as claiming to be equal with God. So the Jews naturally understood him John 10:39, and they were left with this impression on their minds.

John 10:38

Believe the works - Though you do not credit me, yet consider my works, for they prove that I came from God. No one could do them unless he was sent of God.

Father is in me … - Most intimately connected. See John 5:36. This expression denotes most intimate union - such as can exist in no other case. See Matthew 11:27; Notes, John 17:21.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ's works of power and mercy proclaim him to be over all, God blessed for evermore, that all may know and believe He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. Whom the Father sends, he sanctifies. The holy God will reward, and therefore will employ, none but such as he makes holy. The Father was in the Son, so that by Divine power he wrought his miracles; the Son was so in the Father, that he knew the whole of His mind. This we cannot by searching find out to perfection, but we may know and believe these declarations of Christ.