Jesus said, "the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10:38, WEB.) What did he mean by that? Does that mean that God and Jesus are one and the same?

We can understand what Jesus meant by reading what Jesus said to his disciples next: "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." (John 14:20)

So in John 10:38, Jesus didn't mean that God (the Father) and himself are one and the same, because we see that Jesus used the same description to describe himself and his disciples. We know for certain that Jesus didn't mean that he himself and his disciples were literally one and the same being; instead, they were separate individuals.

The Father and the Son are "one" in a spiritual sense. To understand this oneness, we need to understand what the Bible says about marriage. It says that when a man and woman marry, they become "one flesh": "Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24) That doesn't literally mean that they become literally one person. What it means is that they become "one" in spiritual unity. In the same way, the Father and the Son are "one" in spiritual unity. They share the same purpose, goals, and they work together harmoniously to achieve their plans.

Jesus wishes all Christians to achieve this oneness, as he indicated in his prayer to the Father:

"Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are." (John 17:11)

"Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)

The above passage helps us understand the concept of "oneness" or spiritual unity. Just as the Father (Jehovah) and the Son (Jesus) are "one," all believers are to be "one" with the Father and the Son. Did Jesus ask that all believers be literally one person? Of course not; that would be absurd.

The concept of "oneness" is described in two different ways: 1) we are one, and 2) you in me and I in you. For example, John 10:38 says, "The Father is in me [Jesus], and I in the Father." This verse often confuses people because they don't understand this spiritual oneness concept; they think that John 10:38 means that the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus) are the same person, therefore, making Jesus God. On the contrary, it simply means that God and Jesus are "one" in a spiritual sense, not a physical sense. So if you see either kind of this wording in the Bible ("we are one" or "you in me and I in you"), you'll know that it means the same thing.

The concept of "oneness" runs throughout the New Testament, so it is very important to grasp this concept and understand it fully in order to understand the entire Bible so that "with one accord [we] may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"! (Romans 15:6) Amen!

To learn more about Jehovah God Almighty, Jesus Christ, as well as the Holy Spirit, read:

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983), a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Jehovah God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Summa Cum Laude (Highest Honor) graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, self-empowerment expert, poet; author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to twenty-two, and an editor of one; and a parental rights advocate, has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University.

Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Jehovah? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.