Wednesday after Exaudi
Scripture: St. John 10:32-42 (NKJV)
32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”‘? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 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’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.
The Jews make an ironic claim against Jesus. They seek to execute Him because they say He speaks blasphemy as a man, making Himself God. However, He is, in fact, God and has shown that by His works. But the Jews ignore His works and the Word of God (by which they try to claim the right to kill Him), and make themselves in the place of God, judging and condemning Him by their own blasphemous human understanding.
All our sinfulness is a result of making ourselves equal to or greater than God. According to Luther’s explanation of the First Commandment, we fail to fear, love, or trust in God above all things. We place our own interests and understanding above the clear Word and will of God. Another irony is that we think we are acting in our own best interest, but we ignore the fact that ours is a selfish and misguided self-interest that often harms ourselves or others around us, while God’s will is truly in our best interest and is also a benefit to our neighbor’s as well.
If we were left to our own godhood, we would end up killing ourselves and all those around us because of our foolish sinfulness. But God is truly benevolent and merciful, and saves us from the dangerous will of men. He has shown us His own profound love and divine power by becoming true man and following Himself to be executed in our stead. And He confirms that He is true God in His glorious resurrection and everlasting presence with His people in His Words and His deeds in the Sacraments.
We pray: Lord God, forgive us for faithlessly placing ourselves before You, and keep us steadfast in true faith in our divine Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.