What does John 10:37 mean?
ESV: If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
NIV: Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.
NASB: If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
CSB: If I am not doing my Father's works, don't believe me.
NLT: Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work.
KJV: If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
NKJV: If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
Verse Commentary:
Jesus is wrapping up a somewhat intricate point. This is a common deliberation technique, often used by scholars and politicians of Jesus' era. While debating the meaning of the Scriptures, scribes and Pharisees might string together several references to the Word of God, implying a certain logical outcome. When threatened with stoning for blasphemy (John 10:30–31), Jesus responded with one such argument. He pointed out how the Old Testament sometimes used the same term for human authorities—elohim—as it did for God Himself—Elohim (Psalm 82). Jesus' point is that when someone is divinely appointed by God, it's not automatically blasphemy for them to use such terms in reference to themselves (John 10:32–36).

In practical terms, this means that Jesus' critics can either condemn Scripture as wrong, or accept that His claims might have merit.

Of course, Jesus is not saying that humans are equal to God the Father. Instead, He is saying that such claims have to be weighed according to the evidence—in particular, the actions of the person speaking. Since the Word of God is perfect and without error, Jesus notes (John 10:36), the mere use of those words ought not be the issue. Rather, these men ought to be looking at the miracles Jesus has done as proof that He is truthful. Others have done exactly that, and come to the right conclusion (John 3:1–2; 10:19–21).

Jesus also points out, here, that if His actions—or the actions of anyone else—don't line up with such claims, then statements like His would, in fact, be blasphemy. If Jesus is not, or did not, do works as granted by God, then these men would be obligated to reject Him as being a false teacher and blasphemer. Since Jesus has acted in harmony with the will of God, however, they have no excuse for ignoring Him.

In the following verse, Jesus will also explain how their personal distaste for Him shouldn't cloud their judgment. His works, in and of themselves, are crucial pieces of evidence.
Verse Context:
John 10:22–42 happens a few months after the controversy described in chapter 9 through the first half of chapter 10. Here, Jesus is cornered, in an overt threat, by the same religious leaders He has been castigating for years. He echoes the metaphors of sheep and shepherd He employed after giving sight to a blind man. Jesus points out that His teachings and miracles are all consistent with predictions of the Messiah, but these men refuse to accept Him. This culminates in another attempt on Jesus' life, which He somehow avoids. This represents the last time Jesus will publicly teach prior to His crucifixion.
Chapter Summary:
This passage continues Jesus' discussion with the religious leaders of Jerusalem, seen in chapter 9. Jesus lays out three separate analogies about His ministry, using the concept of sheep and shepherds. In those statements, Jesus explains why some people refuse to accept Him, declares Himself the only means of salvation, and again predicts His sacrificial death. This leads to controversy. Later, Jesus is cornered by a mob in the temple grounds. They once again try to stone Him as He repeats His divine claims, but He escapes in some way not fully described by the text. After this, Jesus leaves the area and returns to the region where John the Baptist had once preached.
Chapter Context:
Starting in chapter 7, the gospel of John describes Jesus' preaching at the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem. Through chapters 7 and 8, He debates with critics and attempts to explain spiritual truths. On the way out of the city, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind, as shown in chapter 9. That begins an extended debate which continues in this chapter. Jesus gives analogies of His mission using shepherding as a theme. Months later, He repeats those ideas when cornered by an aggressive mob in the temple. This sets the stage for His grandest miracle, the raising of Lazarus, seen in chapter 11.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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