John 10:17 – Answering Objections

answering objectionsJohn 10:17

Many Christians believe that when Jesus was on earth He was omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (having the ability to be all answering objectionsplaces at once), and immortal. These misconceptions keep people from being able to appreciate the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and suffering in our behalf. If Christ possessed these divine qualities while He was upon this earth, He could not have experienced surprise, terror, or any concern for His future outcome. It would reduce His emotional turmoil to merely reciting words of a play, pretending to be distressed.

Some have been confused by Jesus’ statement: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take 2983 it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take 2983 it again. This commandment have I received 2983 of my Father” (John 10:17, 18).* [Footnote: * The underlined Strong’s number in this verse represents a Greek word in the original text.]

The Greek word λαμβανω – lambano that was translated “I might take,” (with Strong’s number 2983), can mean take, but also means “to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). Please notice that this word is also used in verse 18 but is translated “received.” Christ laid down His life that He might receive it again. The Greek word εξουσιαν – exousia that was translated “power” can mean power, but also means “authority, permission” (ibid.) Christ had permission to lay down His life so that He could receive it again from His Father.

The KJV translation is not completely accurate in this case. Notice some other translations of this statement: “I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to receive it again. This is the command which I received from my Father” (Twentieth Century NT). “Authority, have I, to lay it down, and, authority, have I, again, to receive it: This commandment, received I, from my Father” (1902 Rotherham Bible). “I am authorized to lay it down, and I am authorized to receive it back again. This is the command I received from my Father” (1912 Weymouth NT Translation). “Authority I have to lay down her, and authority I have again to receive her; this the command I received from the Father of me” (1865 Diaglot NT).

The above translations are correct in the way they render the words “authority” and “receive.” Jesus was not stating that He could raise Himself from the dead. The prophecy in Psalm 88:8 was true of Him, which says, “I am shut up, and cannot come forth.”