There is no reason to take this verse to mean that Christ [Maseeh Alayhissalaam] was saying that he and the Father make up “one God.” The phrase was a common one, and even today if someone used it, people would know exactly what he meant—he and his father are very much alike. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his ministry there, he said that he had planted the seed and Apollos had watered it. Then he said, “he who plants and he who waters are one” (1 Cor. 3:8 – KJV). In the Greek texts, the wording of Paul is the same as that in John 10:30, yet no one claims that Paul and Apollos make up “one being.” Furthermore, the NIV translates 1 Corinthians 3:8 as “he who plants and he who waters have one purpose.” Why translate the phrase as “are one” in one place, but as “have one purpose” in another place? In this case, translating the same phrase in two different ways obscures the clear meaning of Christ’s statement in John 10:30: Christ always did God’s will; he and God have “one purpose.”
Christ uses the concept of “being one” in other places, and from them one can see that “one purpose” is what is meant. In John 17:11, 21 and 22, Jesus prayed to God that his followers would be “one” as he and God were “one.” We think it is obvious that Jesus was not praying that all his followers would become one being or “substance”. We believe the meaning is clear: Jesus was praying that all his followers be one in purpose just as he and God were one in purpose, a prayer that has not yet been answered.
The context of John 10:30 shows conclusively that Jesus was referring to the fact that he had the same purpose as God did, just as all the Prophets too had it. Jesus was speaking about his ability to keep the “sheep,” the believers, who came to him. He said that no one could take them out of his hand and that no one could take them out of his Father’s hand. Then he said that he and the Father were “one,” i.e., had one purpose, which was to keep and protect the believers. He was not teaching them about Greco-Roman triune god!.
Christians regard this verse as the golden egg of divine claims. They almost always, however, take it completely out of context. What does Jesus mean when he says that he and the Father are One? One in divinity? Let’s examine the entire passage and arrive at the truth.
“Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, 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. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 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?” – John 10:24-36.
Notice Jesus, referring to his sheep, says that no man can pluck them out of his hand. Then he says that His Father is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of His Hand. He and the Father are one, yes, one in purpose! Their unity exists in the fact that they are protecting their sheep, not in their godhead, as Christians claim. Jesus even prefaces his so-called “claim” by saying that the Father “is greater than all” so that there is no confusion in what he is saying yet Christians remain confused. Christians needing to justify themselves, ridiculously claim that Jesus in verse 29 is speaking of the person of the Father and not of His nature or essential being. However in the very next verse, they now claim that Jesus is speaking of the nature and essence of the Father and equating himself to Him. This is a classic case of Christians reading into the scripture something that is not there.
Ron Rhodes, author of Reasoning from the Scriptures with Muslims, quotes the Athanasian Creed: (emphasis mine, bashfully): “(Christ) is equal to the Father as touching his Godhood, and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood” (pages 154-155). With statements like this, who needs the funny pages?
We are then told that the Jews pick up stones and tell Jesus, “for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” Rhodes comments, “Notice that Jesus did not respond by saying, ‘Oh, no, you’ve got it all wrong. I was not claiming to be God. I’m just claiming unity of purpose with Him.’ Jesus did not offer a single correction because the Jews understood Him exactly as He had intended to be understood.” Maybe Mr. Rhodes forgot to read the remainder of the passage because Jesus does, most definitely, correct the Jews misunderstanding of his claim.
In verse 34, Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6: “Is it not written in your law: ‘I said, you are gods?’” He continues: “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” So what exactly is Jesus claiming? He is claiming that he is receiving the word of God, and that since those who were bestowed this honor in the Law are called “gods,” like Moses in Exodus 7:1, there is nothing blasphemous about him saying that he is the “Son (servant) of God.” He is simply confirming previous scripture.
McDowell says: “Greek scholar A.T. Robertson writes that the ‘one’ is neuter, not masculine, in the Greek, and does not indicate one in person or purpose but rather one in ‘essence or nature’” (page 16). However Jesus says about his disciples: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21). I don’t think any Christian will submit to believe that there is actually a fifteen-unit godhead consisting of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and twelve disciples which includes the “Satanic” Peter, the doubting Thomas, and the traitor Judas Iscariot. The Greek for “one” in both verses (John 10:30, 17:21) is “hen.” Again, oneness of purpose in meant here.
Correct your Christian friend’s misunderstanding of this passage, just as Jesus corrected the Pharisees.