I first wish to thank Kelp for his comment. It is something that I as a teacher delight in hearing. One skill to work on in communicating is to say the point well so that it can be understood and as in few words as possible. I try to make my blog posts lengthy enough to be substantial, but short enough to be enjoyed and really thought about.
Tonight, we’re continuing going through the New Testament to come to a deeper understanding of who Christ is and the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re going to be in John 10 looking at verses 22-30.
22Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”
Let’s note also that earlier in this chapter, Jesus has said that he is the good shepherd. If a Jew knew of anyone who was the good shepherd, they would have thought of Psalm 23 and known that YHWH is truly the shepherd of his people. Let’s look at what is said here.
The question is about who Jesus is again. That’s something else to consider when looking at Jesus. There is no question of who other religious leaders were generally. It is their teachings that are brought into question. For Jesus, it was he himself who was brought into question. The debate has always been not over what he really taught, although that is debated, but who he really thought he was.
When we get to this passage, he starts by describing the works that he is doing. He states that he gives those who believe life everlasting and no one can snatch them out of his hand. He then says that the Father who gives them is greater than all and no one can snatch them out of his hand. Notice the work is done by both and the same applies to both.
He then gets to the conclusion. “I and the Father are one.”
The word here is neuter and it refers to one thing and not one person. Tertullian also saw something in saying that Jesus used the word “are” instead of “am” indicating two different persons, thus indicating that this verse does not really back modalism.
For our purposes, we see Jesus aligning himself with God in a unique fashion. We know later that this was seen as blasphemy. It cannot be saying that being one in will was blasphemy. The Jews would certainly want to align themselves with the will of God. It was rightly understood that Jesus was claiming to share in the nature of the Father in a totally unique way, so unique that the two can be called one in nature.
What was the response?
We shall find out tomorrow.