I and the father are one
A) “I and the father are one”(John 10:30)
This sentence, which is attributed to Jesus (PBUH), is one important verse for those who believe in Jesus’ divinity. They understand that there is a real unity between him and Allah (S.W), which he (PBUH) himself had declared in front of the Jews and, that he meant his divinity.
In order to understand this passage, we have to read it from the beginning. During the Feast of Dedication, Jesus (PBUH) was walking in Solomon’s porch, the Jews came and said, “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.”(John 10:24-30)
The passage from the beginning talks about a metaphoric issue.His sheep, which means his disciples, will follow him, so he will give them eternal life, which is heaven, and no one will take his sheep away from him, which means from his way and guidance, for, Allah (S.W) has given him and no one can take that from Allah (S.W), who is the greatest. Allah (S.W) and Jesus (PBUH) want good for these sheep; thus, the unity is of the objective and not the essence.
The Jews in Solomon’s porch misunderstood Jesus’ (PBUH) words, exactly, like the Christian’s, therefore, ‘the Jews took up stones again to stone him…For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Jesus (PBUH) realized their misunderstanding, and was surprised how they could misunderstand his words since they are well acquainted with the Bible’s metaphoric language.
Quoting what comes in Psalms 82:6, he answered them,‘Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?’He meant that, how could you be surprised with my words since it is common in your book, which made all Israelites gods metaphorically? Therefore, Jesus (PBUH) deserves being a metaphoric god, more than all the Israelites.‘If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came…Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (John 10:35-37)
Giving his opinion about this passage, Matta El Meskeen said, “Jesus quoted Psalm 82, for God’s angel gives this attribute to the council that gathered to judge according to God’s word… and that is an answer to their claim, which considered Jesus as committing blasphemy, while all those who received God’s words are considered in the Torah as gods.”
Therefore, with this verse from Psalms, Jesus (PBUH) corrected the Jews’ and the Christians’ misunderstanding about his unity with Allah (S.W).
This way of expression about the similarity of will and objective, is common in the Christians’ sacred writings, especially in the Gospel according to John. Quoting Jesus, about the disciples, John said, ‘That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they ( the disciples)also may be one in us that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me’(John 17:20-23). This dwelling and incarnation are metaphoric; otherwise, we should consider the disciples as gods.
The passage uses the word “as”, which denotes similarity between the two parties, and the meaning is, (as Jesus and the father are one, also the disciples, Jesus and the father are one), meaning, similar in objective, and not self-similarity, for no Christian speaks of a real self unity of Jesus and his disciples.
In another passage, Jesus (PBUH) mentioned the same meaning. He said about the disciples, ‘Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. (John 17:11). That means as our unity is an objective unity; therefore, their unity should be like ours as well.
Similarly, a verse comes in another chapter. ‘At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.(John 14:20).
Paul said the same, ‘For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (Co. (2) 6:16).Again, Paul said, ‘I have planted, Apollos watered… Now he that plants and he that waters are one… For we are laborers together with God’ (Co.1 3:6-9). Paul’s unity with Apollo, is also the shared objective unity.
Describing the relationship between husband and wife, the Torah says, ‘therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’ (Gen. 2:24). Means they are the same, not because their two bodies became one body.
Therefore, we should not understand these verses shallowly and literally, as Matthew said, ‘And said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?’ (Matt. 19:5). The same is for Jesus (PBUH) when he said, “I and the father are one”.
The Quran mentions the same about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), but the Muslims do not understand or take it as real God incarnation in Mohammad (PBUH). “Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to God.”(Holy Quran 48:10)
No Muslim said, or will say, that Allah (S.W) and His Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) are one self, unlike what Christians say regarding Jesus’ (PBUH) saying, “I and the father are one”.
Priest James Anis concludes that one has to explain the verses metaphorically if the chapter is full of metaphoric, which one cannot explain it literally. How about this verse that is metaphoric? (see Methodical Divinity Science, James Anis, pp 713)
-The Gospel according to John, Priest Matta Almeskeen, Vol. 1, pp 643-644