What Did Jesus Actually Mean When He Said, 'You Are Gods'?

Mike Shreve (Mike Shreve Facebook page)

When Jesus said, "You are gods!" what did He mean? Many New Agers quote this Bible passage to prove Jesus taught the inherent divinity of all human beings. Some sincere born-again Christians boldly claim a godlike status both now, in our present earthly state, and in the world to come, based on these verses.

Is that a legitimate interpretation of Jesus' words or heretical, as some claim?

Let's go to the Bible. The Jewish authorities were withstanding the Son of God and rejecting His claim of being the Messiah.

Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" 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."

Jesus answered them, 'Is it not 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),

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 10:32-36).

To unravel the mystery, this passage must be evaluated carefully.

1. Who was Jesus talking to? This statement was directed toward those who refused His message.

2. Why did Jesus say these words? He had a dual purpose: establishing His own divinity and rebuking the religious leaders of the past and the present for their unjust judgments.

3. What Old Testament passages did Jesus reference? Primarily, Jesus was referencing Psalm 82 and its use of the word "gods," but that Psalm refers back to the original Hebrew of Exodus 21:6 and Exodus 22:8-9 in which the judges of Israel were referred to as elohiym (normally translated God or gods).

4. Are there higher levels of interpretation that allow for speculation in this area? Possibly, because the "word of God" does come to true believers as we walk with the Lord in an even greater depth than it came to the judges of old. At times, we confess that word boldly and see miraculous results. But does that give us the right to call ourselves "gods"? Or does that conclusion carry this passage beyond its original intent?

You decide after you hear the explanation. Listen to this episode of Revealing the True Light on the Charisma Podcast Network.

Mike Shreve has been teaching God's Word since 1971, with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic. He has authored 15 books, including the bestselling 65 Promises From God for Your Child. Discover Your Spiritual Identity podcasts are based on Mike Shreve's book Who Am I. Obtain your copy today. Visit shreveministries.org, facebook.com/shrevemin, twitter.com/shrevemin and instagram.com/mike_shreve.


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