The Son of God (Jn 19:7-19:7)

“The Jews answered Pilate.

‘We have a law.

According to that law,

He ought to die,


He has claimed

To be

The Son of God.’”

ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι Ἡμεῖς νόμον ἔχομεν, καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὀφείλει ἀποθανεῖν, ὅτι Υἱὸν Θεοῦ ἑαυτὸν ἐποίησεν.

John uniquely indicated that this group of Jewish leaders (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι) answered Pilate (ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ) that they had a law (Ἡμεῖς νόμον ἔχομεν).  According to that law (καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον), Jesus ought to die (ὀφείλει ἀποθανεῖν), because he had claimed or made himself to be (ἑαυτὸν ἐποίησεν) the Son of God (ὅτι Υἱὸν Θεοῦ).  However, this was not in the other synoptic gospels.  This was a reference to the law of blasphemy as in Leviticus, chapter 24:16.  Anyone who blasphemed the name of Yahweh should be put to death.  The whole congregation should stone this blasphemer.  They should send him outside the camp, lay hands on his head and stone him.  Stoning was the communal punishment, so that the evil person was removed from their community by the death penalty.  According to John, this was not the first time that the Jewish religious leaders had hurled this charge of blasphemy at Jesus.  John indicated the same thing in chapter 5:18, when Jesus’ last saying (διὰ τοῦτο οὖν), about the Father and Son set off this ambiguous Jewish group (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι).  They sought all the more to kill him (μᾶλλον ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀποκτεῖναι).  Not only had he broken the Sabbath law (ὅτι οὐ μόνον ἔλυεν τὸ σάββατον), but he also called God his Father (ἀλλὰ καὶ Πατέρα ἴδιον ἔλεγεν τὸν Θεόν).  He was making himself equal to God (ἴσον ἑαυτὸν ποιῶν τῷ Θεῷ).  This was a much stronger reason to get rid of Jesus.  Jesus was calling himself equal to God as the Son of the Father, as he claimed to be a divine Son.  Thus, for the Jews of Jerusalem, he was violating the sense of one God, monotheism.  In John, chapter 10:33, this group of Jews (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι) answered Jesus (ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ).  They said that it was not for a good work (Περὶ καλοῦ ἔργου οὐ) that they were going to stone him (λιθάζομέν σε), but for his blasphemy (περὶ βλασφημίας).  He was only a human being, a man (καὶ ὅτι σὺ ἄνθρωπος), but he was making himself into God (ὢν ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν Θεόν).  This Jewish group was not complaining about his good healing works.  They were upset because he as a fellow human being was saying that he was equal to God, the Father.  This was blasphemy.  Therefore, he had to be stoned.  Thus, they would have stoned Jesus if he had not gotten away from them.  Now here, they claimed that they did not have the legal Roman authority to kill Jesus, but that Jesus deserved to die because he claimed that he was the Son of God.  Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

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