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),
Verses 34 to 36 are difficult verses to interpret.
Jesus answered them,
Jesus responded to the charge of blasphemy by appealing to the Jews’ own Scripture.
“Is it not written in your law,
“Law” here refers to the entire canon of Old Testament Scriptures because He quotes from the Psalms. This is a citation from Psalm 82:6 (LXX).
‘I said, “You are gods” ’?
Men were called “gods” in Psalm 82:1, 6. On some occasions the Hebrew word for “gods” (elohim) meant human judges (Ex 21:6; 22:8). A “god” was an official representative commissioned by God. The administration of justice was a divine prerogative. The Bible calls “gods” those who were mere mortal men.
Psalm 82 refers to unjust human judges who are called “gods.” There was a very broad relationship between certain human beings and God in this passage. These judges were “gods” because they personally represented God in a theocratic kingdom. God called unjust judges “gods” because they ruled for Him on earth. They were His theocratic representatives to Israel (Ex 4:16; 7:1). That is why they are called “gods” with a small “g.”
If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came
The judges to whom the comment “you are gods” was made were recipients of the Bible. They were required to accept its authority as judges. They had the authority of life and death in their discretion.
The argument of Jesus is clear. Usage of the term “god” in Scripture can refer to others than God Himself. Why should the Jews object to Jesus’ claim to be God’s Son? This is an argument from the lesser to the greater. Judges were “gods” or sons of God in a small sense; they were commissioned to judge Israel (the lesser). Christ, however, was the Son of God in the complete sense (the greater).
Since Scripture called human beings “gods” simply because God commissioned them, how much more may the Son of God be called by a divine title? Christ is being called God in a correspondingly much higher sense. It was the Father, not the nation Israel, who sanctified and sent Jesus.
(and the Scripture cannot be broken [annulled]),
The appeal here is to the highest authority. Scripture cannot be annulled or demonstrated to be false. This parenthesis demonstrates the attitude of Jesus toward the Bible; He viewed it as indefectible authority by how it says it and what it says. Scripture is inviolable (Mt 5:18). No one can evade the force of this Scripture by claiming the Bible is not right on this point. Jewish leaders could not dispute that the Scripture called judges “gods.”
If the Bible complements the use of “god” in reference to man, Jesus’ point was that the Jews could not simply ignore this Scripture. They could not make this passage irrelevant to the issue at hand.
Believers base what they believe on the Bible.
The argument of Jesus is from the lesser to the greater. If God used the term “gods” of people who were nothing more than human judges, how much more would this be true of the Son of God?
The Bible distinguishes between the deity and humanity of Christ. Jesus did not claim that His humanity was God. Careful handling of Scripture helps us to understand the difference. Most ignorant and false interpretations of Scripture come from poor handling of the Word of God (hermeneutics).
Jesus did not use the argument about “gods” to prove that He was God; He used it to make His critics consider another alternative. Therefore, He did not use the argument from Psalm 82:6 to unequivocally prove His deity. If that were the case, then His argument would not be justified. His point was that the Jews are partly right by the assertion that He made Himself equal to God. However, they were wrong in that He did not argue for a rival God. They had not understood their own Bible and how Jesus fulfilled Psalm 82. The goon squad who operated by mob violence could not grasp these distinctions.