My first full-time technical job was repairing and installing electronic devices in schools. At that time, I looked younger than many of the guys in high school. So, when I worked in schools while they were in session I carried a toolbox to communicate that I was the repair guy, not a student skipping class.
In John, chapter ten, verse thirty-three, we find the Jewish leaders threatening Jesus, “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Notice that the religious leaders understood Jesus had equated Himself as God.
To the leaders’ rebuff, Jesus quotes them Psalms 82:6, “I have said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the most High.” Again, notice the “I have said.” Jesus is the Word of God. When He told them, “I have said”, He meant that He said this.
Psalms 82: (NIV)
6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mere mortals
you will fall like every other ruler.”
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.
Because God Has Said So
They are gods only because God has said so. Many people misunderstand verse six. However, one of the emperors of Rome understood it and quoted it.
Emperor Constantine quoted this verse to the bishops at the opening of the council of Nicene which produced the Nicene Creed. He read this to remind the bishops that they were where God had placed them. Therefore, they should rise above all jealousies and biases.
My understanding of this verse is that we are gods only within the context of filling an “office,” which God has established and to which He has called us. Within that office, we carry out the work of God and therefore, represent Him to the world.
It is like the American embassy in France. It is located in France, but it is American soil beyond the gate and within the embassy offices. The ambassador “is” America to all the people of France.
When the American ambassador retires, he or she becomes a private citizen; they no longer “are” America. It is America that carries significance and continues, not a specific ambassador. Likewise, we are gods by God’s call while we represent Him in particular times and offices.
As always, God is the important One. In this world, we that are saved are transient representatives which fill assignments, offices which God has established. As such, God has said we are gods. What a privilege it is to represent God! What a danger it is to strive for an office of God or to call it “ours.”
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