I and My Father are One

By: Dr. John Ankerberg / Dr. John Weldon; ©2001
n John 10:30 Jesus says “I and the Father are one.” What did he mean? How can God the Father and God the Son be the same person? Several biblical scholars comment.

I and My Father are One

John 10:22-30 (NASB) 22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 ”But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 ”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 ”My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand. 30 ”I and the Father are one.”

What do the experts say about verse 30: “I and the Father are one”?

W. A. Criswell, The Believer’s Study Bible: “One” asserts not the identity (as a single Person) but the essential unity of the Father and the Son. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997. ©1991, Criswell Center for Biblical Studies)

Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary: I and my Father are one—Our language admits not of the precision of the original in this great saying. “Are” is in the masculine gender—“we (two persons) are”; while “one” is neuter—“one thing.” Perhaps “one interest” expresses, as nearly as may be, the purport of the saying. There seemed to be some contradiction between His saying they had been given by His Father into His own hands, out of which they could not be plucked, and then saying that none could pluck them out of His Father’s hands, as if they had not been given out of them. “Neither have they,” says He; “though He has given them to Me, they are as much in His own almighty hands as ever—they cannot be, and when given to Me they are not, given away from Himself, for HE AND I HAVE ALL IN COMMON.” Thus it will be seen, that, though oneness of essence is not the precise thing here affirmed, that truth is the basis of what is affirmed, without which it would not be true. And Augustine was right in saying the “We are” condemns the Sabellians (who denied the distinction of Persons in the Godhead), while the “one” (as explained) con­demns the Arians (who denied the unity of their essence). (David Brown, D.D., “Commentary on John 10”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible.)

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: This oneness Jesus claimed with the Father must not be reduced to mere oneness in “agreement, purpose and organization,” equating this degree of oneness with that of believers with the Father and the Son (Jn. 17:20-22), for if this is all Christ asserted, he would not have been accused of blasphemy (ver. 33), for even the Old Testament prophets had asserted as much (Is. 48:16). (Jerome H. Smith, editor, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, © 1992 Jerome H. Smith.)

KJV Bible Commentary: I and my Father are one. God the Father and God the Son are in agreement in the matter of the believer’s eternal security. On the basis of this pas­sage, no one should ever doubt the eternal security of his salvation. Once a person is genuinely saved, he is saved forever. (Jerry Fallwell, Executive editor, Edward E. Hinson, Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible Commentary, Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1997, © 1994)

Matthew Henry’s Commentary: Further to corroborate the security, that the sheep of Christ may have strong consolation, he asserts the union of these two undertakers: “I and my Father are one, and have jointly and severally undertaken for the protection of the saints and their perfection.” This denotes more than the harmony, and consent, and good understanding, that were between the Father and the Son in the work of man’s redemption. Every good man is so far one with God as to concur with him; therefore it must be meant of the oneness of the nature of Father and Son, that they are the same in substance, and equal in power and glory. The fathers urged this both against the Sabellians, to prove the distinction and plurality of the persons, that the Father and the Son are two, and against the Arians, to prove the unity of the nature, that these two are one. If we should altogether hold our peace concerning this sense of the words, even the stones which the Jews took up to cast at him would speak it out, for the Jews understood him as hereby making himself God (v. 33) and he did not deny it. He proves that none could pluck them out of his hand because they could not pluck them out of the Father’s hand, which had not been a conclu­sive argument if the Son had not had the same almighty power with the Father, and conse­quently been one with him in essence and operation. (Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997)

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible: I and [my] Father are one. Not in person, for the Father must be a distinct person from the Son, and the Son a distinct person from the Father; and which is further manifest, from the use of the verb plural, “I and [my] Father, we are one”; that is, in nature and essence, and perfections, particularly in power; since Christ is speaking of the impossibility of plucking any of the sheep, out of his own and his Father’s hands; giving this as a reason for it, their unity of nature, and equality of power; so that it must be as impracticable to pluck them out of his hands, as out of his Father’s, because he is equal with God the Father, and the one God with him. The Jew objects, that …if the sense of this expression is, that the Father and the Son are one, as the Nazarenes understand and believe it, it will be found that Jesus himself destroys this say­ing, as it is written in (Mark 13:32), for saith Jesus, “that day and that hour, there is knoweth, not the angels, nor the Son, but the Father only”; lo, these words show, that the Father and the Son are not one, since the Son does not know what the Father knows. (Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 50. p. 438, 439)

But it should be observed, that Christ is both the Son of God, and the son of man, as the Christians believe; as he is the Son of God, he lay in the bosom of his Father, and was privy to all his secrets, to all his thoughts, purposes, and designs; and as such, he knew the day and hour of judgment, being God omniscient; and in this respect is one with the Father, having the same perfections of power, knowledge… but then as the son of man, he is not of the same nature, and has not the same knowledge; his knowledge of things was derived, communicated, and not infinite; and did not reach to all things at once, but was capable of being increased, as it was: and it is with regard to him as the son of man, that Jesus speaks of himself in (Mark 13:32); whereas he is here treating of his divine sonship, and almighty power; wherefore considered in the relation of the Son of God, and as possessed of the same perfections with God, he and his Father are one; though as man, he is different from him, and knew not some things he did: so that there is no contradiction be­tween the words of Christ in one place, and in the other; nor is he chargeable with any blasphemy against God, or any arrogance in himself, by assuming deity to himself; nor deserving of punishment, even to be deprived of human life, as the Jew suggests; nor is what he produces from a Socinian writer, of any moment, that these words do not neces­sarily suppose, that the Father and the Son are of the same essence; since it may be said of two men, that they are one, end yet are not the same man, but one is one man, and the other another; for we do not say they are one and the same person, which does not follow from their being of one and the same nature, but that they are one God, and two distinct persons. (The New John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (Modernized and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible.) All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winter-bourne, Ontario.)

1 Comment

  1. Irma on October 7, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Jesus said the I and the Father are the same , he did not say nor the angels nor I Know the hr.

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