Much of what the Gospel of John quotes Jesus as saying has to do with the relationship that exists between the two. It can be summed up in this very short sentence from chapter ten: The Father and I are one. (John 10:30) This is, to say the least, a bold statement. Whether Jesus actually said this is not the issue. How did the Christian community come to understand that Jesus and the Father are one? Only after years of reflection could the Christian Community have come to such a radically different notion of God. However, the path those reflections took are clearly indicated throughout the Gospel. A few examples will clarify:
John 10:15: The Father knows the Son and the Son knows the Father. Here we have to understand that "knowing" in Middle Eastern culture is a significant sign of intimacy. When one truly knows someone, they enjoy a connection unlike any other.
John 8:55: Jesus knows the Father but his accusers do not. Jesus can no more deny his knowledge of the Father than he can of himself.
John 8:28: Jesus says only what the Father has taught him. The father in Middle Eastern culture teaches his Son how to be a man through discipline.
John 4:34: Jesus does the will of the Father. His food and drink, his source of sustenance is his obedience to the will of his Father.
John 10:18: The Father has commanded that Jesus lay down his life (discipline) and that he take it up again.
These are just a few examples of how the early Christian community verbalized their developing understanding of who Jesus was. While earlier Gospels had proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, the Master, the Teacher, the Son of Man, and even the One about whom Moses wrote, it is John's Gospel which proclaims that "The Father and I are One."
- Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator