In John 10: 34-36, Jesus continues His face-off with the religious leaders. They were indignant that Jesus dared call Himself the Son of God. He quotes a psalm in which God Himself calls a group of leaders 'gods' because they received God's word and were responsible for carrying out His law and divine justice. In the religious leaders eyes, that was acceptable. No blasphemy there.
In the last post, we saw how Jesus WORDS were what set them off, but He brings the discussion back to His WORKS. If what He DID failed to substantiate what He SAID, then don't believe Him. But if His works validated His claim that He WAS the Son of God (and they did…) then the Pharisees and their cohorts had no excuse for their unbelief.
Unbelief is different than doubt. Unbelief is willful. It is hearing the words, seeing the evidence and choosing to discount it. We know how this works when it comes to salvation. God loves me. (He said so – WORDS.) Jesus Christ died for me. (A WORK that proves it.) If I believe those things, God responds to that BELIEF by erasing my sin debt and granting me eternal life.
Because we grasp that so easily as Christians -we call ourselves believers, after all- we tend to think that unbelief is no longer an issue for us. That's not always the case. Consider:
- God said He would take care of us (WORDS). He has taken care of us in the past (WORKS). God won't see us through some present difficulty (UNBELIEF).
- He said He would never leave us (WORDS). He gave us His Holy Spirit (WORKS). We feel abandoned and alone (UNBELIEF).
- God has a purpose for us (WORDS). He gave us spiritual gifts to accomplish that purpose (WORKS). We sit on the sidelines (UNBELIEF).
Jesus wouldn't let these guys weasel out of it. He confronted them with their unbelief. How will we respond when He confronts us with ours?