Of works and judgement


Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
John 10:31-33



  • Jesus is giving His final speech to sway the Pharisees to believe in Him
  • In this final discourse, He has spoken unreservedly about His divine identity as God and Messiah
  • The tension between the Jewish leaders and Jesus is at the critical point, Jesus has done all He could to show and tell them about Himself and His mission, they however simply could not see and understand the truth


  • “Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him”, this isn’t the first time they’ve tried that (John 8:59) (v31)
    • Even after Jesus has taught them something about themselves and the Law – that in the eyes of the Law they have all been guilty of sin and deserve it’s wages (John 8:7), they are stubbornly quick to judge
  • “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”, the fact remains that Jesus is faultless in word and deed (v32)
    • His works are no doubt good! He has healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the lame walk, multiplied food and raised the dead. These are not normal charitable deeds, these are morally excellent and miraculous deeds
    • Jesus as always is trying to get the Pharisees to see how their own logic does not make sense. In essense, Jesus says, “Look at my good works and hear my words, since you say that a sinner and demon-possessed cannot perform these things then consider what is the only last reasonable explanation?”
    • At this critical point, Jesus is still trying to save the Pharisees!
    • If someone is to be stoned, there was to be a charge, a trial (with testimonies from witnesses) and a sentencing, however at this point, there was none of that! So Jesus ask, what has He done to deserve stoning?
  • “We are not stoning you for any good work”, the Pharisees do not fault His work (v33)
    • It would seem that they acknowledge His work, in all that Jesus has done, He is faultless
  • “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” the Pharisees finally lay down their charge (v33)
    • They were somehow not able to connect Jesus’ deeds with His words, and it is a shame because His deeds prove His words
    • Blasphemy is a serious charge and punishable by stoning (Leviticus 24:13-23), the way the Pharisees it, Jesus has made a fool of God by bringing God down to His level as a man
    • Little do they know (or believe) that the truth is right before their eyes! What they think to be blasphemy is God’s redemption plan for the world
    • In the end, the Pharisees stubbornly judged no different from what they began with even after seeing His works and hearing His authoritative teaching (John 7:47-48, they didn’t even entertain the possibility that he could be a prophet); in all of Jesus’ efforts, they (John 7:50, all but one) have not moved an inch to even consider otherwise


If the charge of being a Christian is put before me, what “good works” have I got as evidence of my faith? Are they just simply charitable deeds or undoubtably “from the Father”? If anyone charges me as a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to be undeniably guilty in both word and deed!

Has my idea of Jesus Christ changed over the years or have I stagnated like the Pharisees have? Do I now see a more glorious, more powerful, more loving God than when I was first saved? Perhaps it is time to evaluate my mindset about God in the light of all the “good works” that He has done in my life.  


Father, I want to be good in both word and deed. I want that quality of yours so that the world can see and know that I too am “from the Father”. I know that you do not change, but my small mind cannot conceive how good are and how glorious you are. Open my eyes to the work that you do in my life. Help me to see more of you everyday. Help me to have a bigger picture of you everyday.


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