37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”
Verses 37-39 close Jesus’ argument against the Jews. This is the second phase of the Lord’s reply to the Jews.
Jesus offered two alternatives about who He was: (1) if he had not performed miracles of the Father, then the Jews should not believe Him, and (2) if He had performed genuine miracles from the Father, then they must accept that as true. Thus, Jesus now appealed to the evidence He wanted His audience to consider.
If I do not do the works of My Father,
The argument here is that, if Jesus performed miracles, God must be with Him. Nicodemus recognized this point (Jn 3:2). If the Jews did not recognize His miracles, then the problem was theirs. His miracles were the windows into who He was and His words. Jesus did what the Father did. Jesus’ miracles were the criterion to determine what was true. They showed the reality of who He truly was. Jesus’ miracles are in keeping with who God is.
do not believe Me;
Jewish unbelief would be justified if Jesus did not perform miracles. The issue was not Jesus’ claim to be the unique Son of God but their failure to recognize who He truly was.
but if I do, though you do not believe Me,
Jesus again confronted Jewish unbelief. He did not expect His adversaries to believe Him based on an unadulterated claim. However, Jesus appealed to His miracles established by the Father as evidence for His declaration of deity.
believe the works,
Jesus’ miracles were evidence of His indivisible union with the Father (Jn 10:30). His shift from His words to His works went beyond His claims to objective evidence. His miracles could be independently verified.
that you may know and believe
The word “that” indicates the reason why the Jews should reflect on Jesus’ works or miracles to understand that the Father was in Christ and Christ was in the Father.
The word “know” means come to know. The result of what Jesus did is the emphasis rather than the condition of believing. What they would come to know is the mutual indwelling of the Father and Son (next words).
that the Father is in Me,
The relationship of the Father and the Son enabled Jesus to perform the miracles that He did.
and I in Him.”
The one essence of the Father and the Son produces an identity of works and miracles between them. There is one identity between the Father and Son. His miracles could not have been done by a mere man. The Father and Son have a unique relationship.
The persons of the Father and Son exist in and through each other. The Father’s role is not in submission to the Son but the Son in submission to the Father. However, although they are not identical in role, they are identical in essence and distinct in person.
There is evidential proof and objective verification that Jesus is who He claims to be.
God authorizes and makes certain the gospel by the transition from works (miracles) to words. Jesus’ words often fall on deaf ears. Rather than examining the bald facts, people prefer to believe what they wish. But if they are faced with evidence, then they must either reject what they see or believe it.
Jesus’ works or miracles were associated with the kind of power that comes solely from God. If that is true, people should then believe in Christ as God.
In His second argument against the Jews, Jesus argued that His objective miracles supported His claim to be the Son of God. These miracles are the voice of God and hold distinction for testimony about Jesus.