Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” This has caused many to be confused into thinking that Jesus is the Father, or is somehow joined to Him in a way that makes the Father and Son a compound being. This faulty conclusion need not be reached. It is helpful to read the context. Jesus said, “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 10:30-36).
Jesus’ response to this charge of blasphemy was twofold. First, He addressed their use of the word “God.” He explained that the word “god” can have a broad meaning, even to include humans.* [Footnote: * In the Bible, the word “god” has several different meanings. In a very limited sense, men are called gods. Both the Greek word theos and the Hebrew word elohim, which are most often translated “god,” are used in reference to men. (See Exodus 7:1; Psalm 82:6; John 10:34.) When the word “god” is used in that sense, then there are hundreds and thousands of gods. In a less limited sense, angels are called gods. David wrote about man, “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels [elohim]” (Psalms 8:5). The word “angels” in this verse comes from the Hebrew word elohim. The way elohim is used here it denotes a type of being that is higher than man, but it is still used in a limited sense, and with this definition there would still be many gods. In reference to Christ, the word “god” is used in a much less limited sense, to denote His nature as being on the same level as His Father—something that cannot be said about any other being in the universe. The Bible says that Christ was “in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6). But even when the word “god” is used of Christ, it is used in a limited sense, because Christ has a God who is “the head of Christ,” “above all,” and “greater than” He (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 4:6; and John 14:28). When the word “god” is used in its absolute and unlimited sense, there is only one person to whom it can apply, God, the Father, alone. Jesus said that His Father is “the only true God” (John 17:3). Paul said, “there is none other God but one… God, the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:4, 6).] He basically said, “Don’t be so touchy about the word ‘God,’ even humans are called ‘god.’”
After disarming them regarding the use of the word “God,” Jesus denied the charge of claiming to be God, pointing out that His claim was merely to be “the Son of God.” The Jews evidently understood His words, because when He was finally charged for blasphemy and condemned to death, the accusation was that He claimed to be the Son of God.
When brought before Caiaphas, the Bible says, “Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63). Luke’s account says, “Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth” (Luke 22:70, 71). After this, Jesus was brought before Pilate and, when Pilate said he could find no fault in Him, “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God” (John 19:7).
The jeering crowd at Christ’s crucifixion said, “He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God” (Matthew 27:43). Naturally, the strongest accusations about Christ would come from those who condemned Him to death. If they could have legitimately accused Him of claiming to be “God” they would have. Yet, they all said that His claim was that He is the Son of God. This is exactly who Jesus said He is (Matthew 26:63, 64; Luke 22:70, 71). Jesus never claimed to be God. The one time He was accused of such a claim, He flatly denied this charge.