|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:22-30 All who have any thing to say to Christ, may find him in the temple. Christ would make us to believe; we make ourselves doubt. The Jews understood his meaning, but could not form his words into a full charge against him. He described the gracious disposition and happy state of his sheep; they heard and believed his word, followed him as his faithful disciples, and none of them should perish; for the Son and the Father were one. Thus he was able to defend his sheep against all their enemies, which proves that he claimed Divine power and perfection equally with the Father.
Verse 30. - Then follows the sublime minor premise of the syllogism, I and the Father (we) are one. As Augustine and Bengel have said, the first clause is incompatible with Sabellianism, and the second clause with Arianism. The Lord is conscious of his own Personality as distinct from that of the Father, and yet he asserts a fundamental unity. But what kind of unity is it? Is it a unity of wish, emotion, sentiment, only? On the contrary, it is a oneness of redemptive power. The Divine activity of the Father's eternal love did not come to any arrest or pause when he gave the sheep to the Son, but with its irresistible might is present in the "hand" of Jesus (no one "can," not no one "shall"). Therefore the ἕν, the one reality, if it does not express actual unity of essence, involves it. Some have endeavored to minimize the force of this remarkable statement by comparing it with John 17:21-23, where Jesus said believers are "to be in us," and "to be one, even as we are one," i.e. to have the same kind of relation with one another (being a collective unity) as the Father and Son sustain towards each other, "I in them, thou in me, that they may be perfected [reach their τέλος, by being blended] into one;" i.e. into one Divine personality by my indwelling. Now, it is nowhere there said that believers and the Father are one, but such a statement is scrupulously avoided. Numerous attempts have been made to escape from the stupendous assumption of this unity of power and essence with the Father. The whole gist of the assertion reveals the most overwhelming self-consciousness. The Lord declares that he can bestow eternal life and blessedness upon those who stand in close living relation with himself, and between whom and himself there is mutual recognition and the interchanges of love and trust. He bases the claim on the fact that the Father's hands are behind his, and that the Father's eternal power and Godhead sustain his mediatorial functions and, more than all, that the Father's Personality and his own Personality are merged in one essence and entity. If be merely meant to imply moral and spiritual union with the Father, or completeness of revelation of the Divine mind, why should the utterance have provoked such fierce resentment?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire 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 (p) 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.''
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, &c. 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.
(p) Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 50. p. 438, 439.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. 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).
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