This week at the church in Hillsdale, NY, we are holding conversations every morning after the Act of Consecration of Man about the story of Lazarus/John. Today, this led us to look at what happens before the Raising of Lazarus in John 11 to the passage in John 10: 31-39, when the Christ speaks of the true power out of which he lives, speaks, and acts–and not only he–but that out of which all human beings can live and speak and act. The authorities want to stone him, they say, “because of blasphemy. You are a human being and are making yourself a god.”
His answer: “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? (Psalm 82) 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be annulled), 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 them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
Here Jesus is actually entering into the circle of religious authority and pointing to the divine intention that all earthly human beings become like God. What makes it possible that we fulfill the original intention of Creation?
“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them” (Genesis 1:27) The human being is meant to become like God. The mystery for us to unravel and awaken to is the further question: in what way are we to be like God? One can work with this question ad infinitum–however, there is something in this passage which gives us a way in.
“…he called them gods to whom the Word of God came…”
The Word of God can come to all human beings. This means that the divine creative power is accessible to every individual. We can make a relationship to the Word that is always life-giving and speaks in awareness of its own authority: “Behold, I make all things new!”
Of course the powers that felt themselves to be the keeper of God’s Word at the time felt their power threatened. What would it mean for every person to be connected to the power of the divine Word? Their only possible response: to quash the source of such a revolution, to stone the one who could lead people to this source of power.