#55 – A certain denomination in the Philippines teaches that the unity of the Father and Christ in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one,” is only found in the action of shepherding, not in their unity of being God. How do we counter this claim?
Answer: We will submit many passages that the unity or oneness of the Father with Christ is not limited to shepherding. We start with how the word “one” is used in various ways.
1. There is the use of the word “one” to mean a counting number to indicate one individual, separate person, or one individual, separate, exclusive item. Not two, not three or more persons or items.
Gen. 2:21, one (Heb. echad) of his ribs;
Exo. 30:10, one (echad) time in a year.
Gen. 10:25 one (echad) of two sons;
Eccles. 4:8, one (echad) . . and . . . not a second.
2. There is also the use of the word “one” to mean the unity, the harmony, the co-mingling of emotion, purpose, attributes, the direction in life of closely knit, closely related two or more individuals or closely related two or more separate but closely related persons or acts because there is unicity and harmony.
Gen. 2:24, ( Heb. echad), “they shall be one flesh”- speaking of husband Adam and wife Eve. This oneness, unicity, harmony is repeated in Mal. 2:15 – husband & wife;
Mtt. 19:4, 5 – they become one;
3. There is a third usage of the word “one” which is called the collective noun or mass noun.
Gen. 11:6 – the people is one (Heb. echad);
Gen. 32:8 – one (echad) company;
Judges 20:8 – the people arose as one (echad) man;
John 10:16 – one (Greek-heis) fold.
4. A fourth usage of the word “one” or “only” is that which is unique or special. Also called Inclusive one.
Gen. 22:2, 12, 16 – Isaac your only (yachid) son;
Zech. 14:4 – one (echad) LORD. . . his name is one.
Matt. 19:17 & Mk. 10:18 – none good but one (Gk, heis). . . God. There are good and faithful servants, too.
The unity and harmony of Christ and the Father is not limited to the act of shepherding the flock or disciples
In the context of John chapter 10. Notice John 10:25 where Christ says, “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.” The term “works” is plural. So it does not limit to the one act of shepherding. The oneness of the Father and the Son is in all other works especially in those miraculous acts of healing and teaching. See also v. 37, 38 and John 17:7-8.
In John 17, the Father glorifies the Son, and in return, the Son glorifies the Father. The basis of eternal life is the belief in the Father and the Son (v. 3). Very revealing is John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” This means that the attributes of the Father are the attributes of the Son. # – ET