34.Is it not written in your Law? He clears himself of the crime charged against him, not by denying that he is the Son of God, but by maintaining that he had justly said so. Yet he adapts his reply to the persons, instead of giving a full explanation of the fact; for he reckoned it enough for the present to expose their malice. In what sense he called himself the Son of God he does not explain fully, but states indirectly. The argument which he employs is not drawn from equals, but from the less to the greater.
I said, You are gods. Scripture gives the name ofgods to those on whom God has conferred an honorable office. He whom God has separated, to be distinguished above all others, is far more worthy of this honorable title. Hence it follows, that they are malicious and false expounders of Scripture, who admit the first, but take offense at the second. The passage which Christ quotes is in Psa_82:6,
I have said, You are gods,
and all of you are children of the Most High;
where God expostulates with the kings and judges of the earth, who tyrannically abuse their authority and power for their own sinful passions, for oppressing the poor, and for every evil action. He reproaches them that, unmindful of Him from whom they received so great dignity, they profane the name of God. Christ applies this to the case in hand, that they receive the name of gods, because they are God’ ministers for governing the world. For the same reason Scripture calls the angels gods, because by them the glory of God beams forth on the world. We must attend to the mode of expression: