John 10:37-42
John 10:37 (KJB)
If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
Here Jesus tells them plainly that if He does not do the works of His Father, then they are free to disbelieve Him. Since the Jews always required a sign, Jesus continually focuses on the works and especially the miracles that He did as evidence that He was from God. If the miracles did not align with the character of God, then Jesus tells them they should not believe Him. On the other hand, if the miracles do align with the character of God, then they will be in apostasy by not believing.
John 10:38 (KJB)
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
Now Jesus turns the tables on the accusers and makes an argument for His case. He tells them that if they do not believe His words, then they should believe the works. What then should they do with the works of Jesus? He has proven repeatedly that the works He does comes from the Father. They may reject His words but what about the works, since these works were done on literally thousands of people. These works cannot be denied because they were done in public. The works are the evidence that Jesus is telling them the truth. For example, if I tell a person that I have faith, they do not have to believe me because it is only words but if I act on the faith by giving and doing, then the works are the evidence that I have faith. The same with Jesus, His works are the evidence of His relationship with His Father.
John 10:39 (KJB)
Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
Escaped - Departed or went out
Once again Jesus corners them with an argument they could not respond to except with violence. They wanted to arrest Him but it was not His time yet so He was able to depart from them. They no longer wanted to listen to His explanations. This is also the typical response from the intellectual elite in the churches, they would rather remove someone than face a real issue head on. When the time is right, Jesus will give Himself willingly.
John 10:40 (KJB)
And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.
Abode - Stayed there, dwelled, remained
Jesus then went to the place where John had baptized which was probably Aenon. It was about 50 miles (80 km) north of Jerusalem. It was far enough away to allow a time of rest for the body and from the accusations of the Pharisees which were becoming more intense until the culmination at the trial of Jesus.
John 10:41 (KJB)
And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
Resorted - Came
It seems that many had followed Jesus from the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem. Since this was the place where John the Baptist had baptized people, they remembered the things which John had spoken about Jesus. They had come to the conclusion that everything John had said coupled with the works which Jesus did, confirmed to many that everything which was spoken about this man was true. What a totally different view these people had simply because they weighed the verbal evidence and the evidence of the works. (Mark 12:37 KJV) David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly. Mark 12:37 teaches us that the common people, not society’s elite, had heard Jesus gladly. When your mind is not clouded with all types of intellectual hooey and bias, your mind will be able to work properly and you will make the right decisions, just as these people did concerning Jesus and His testimony. The common people had more Scriptural sense than the leaders.
John 10:42 (KJB)
And many believed on him there.
The result of a true witness is making disciples. Those who had come with Jesus and saw and heard Him had believed. Even though the leaders were murderously hostile to Jesus, it did not prevent Jesus from causing many to believe on Him. It is not known who these believers are or how many but John describes the amount as many. Jesus held to a good testimony and that yielded fruit. This is a great principle for Christians. Whenever we get into a rough situation, we must maintain our true testimony because many will be watching and if we remain steadfast, we will draw others to the Lord because they will know that Christianity is real.