Meditation for Friday of the 5th Week of Lent


Wisdom is needed to understand the following line from the Gospel for today: "Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, "You are gods"’?" (John 10:34)  It has been misunderstood, not only by the Jews of Jesus’ time, but also by the Mormons and Muslims of our time as well.  The Jews of Jesus’ time, like the Muslims of our time, see this proclamation as blasphemous: "How can a man be a god?"  The Mormons take the exact opposite stance: "We will all be gods of our own planet or even group of planets, as Jesus was a man who became a god, and as the one we call ‘God’ was once like us on another planet/galaxy/universe."  As usual, the truth lies somewhere in between the extremes, or as Aristotle put it: "Virtue is the mean [i.e., average or middle] state."

The meaning which Jesus is giving here is not that we will be gods in the same way in which The LORD, Yahweh, is God – we are not the uncreated Creator, nor is it that our will is always right and good, nor are we eternal.  Jesus means that we are created (not begotten of the Father, as He eternally is) in the image and likeness of God.  "Image and likeness" (Gen 1:26) means "similar" not "equal", in that we have spirits/souls that are immortal, but they are not omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  We are "co-heirs" to the Kingdom (Daniel 7:22, 27), not "co-equal" as Jesus is to the Father in the Trinity.  We, who hear the Word of God, are to be the judges of the world and of angels (1 Cor 6:2-3), but God is the ultimate Judge, and it is His judgements we render, not our own.  We do not act on our own, but as gods, we must constantly consult with the Triune God, especially in dealing with mortals like ourselves (Deut 1:17) – otherwise, we stumble around in the darkness of our own minds (Psalm 82:5-8), and our own judgements may judge us at the Last Judgement.  Hence the advice to those that would judge without consulting God in prayer first (this type of judgement without God is also known as "complaining") : "Judge not, lest ye be judged." (James 5:9)

Therefore, when we hear (or even utter ourselves) the words "Terror on every side!" (Jer 20:10), even when beset by those that calls us blasphemers for believing that a man was and is also God Almighty, we must consult with God for the proper judgement.  Only in this way can we know that we are doing what is right and that we will not fall into the snares and traps set by our enemies.

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