Well-crafted joints by the carpenter of Nazareth

[] ‘I and my Father are one’

When Jesus uttered this brief statement he was greeted by vehement protests from his Jewish listeners. They ‘picked up stones … to stone him’ to death. Why? ‘ “[F]or [the capital offence of] blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” ’ (John 10:30-33).

The preface to the fourth Gospel (John 1:1-18) presents this unity of God as a major theme of the book: God the Father enjoyed glorious fellowship with God-the-Word before the creation of the cosmos (‘The Big Bang’?) and the incarnation (‘The Christmas Story’).

[] ‘May they become one as we are one’

Just before he went to the cross, the disciples overheard Jesus pray for them – that this disjointed and soon-to-be-scattered assortment of men should share in the unity of God:

‘I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name … that they may be one, even as we are one’ (John 17:11).

And he went on to pray for us who would believe in him through their testimony:

‘The glory that you have given me I have given them, that they be one even as we are one. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you … loved them even as you loved me’ (John 17:22-23).

He had already explained to the Twelve that this indwelling of us by Father and Son would come through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who would be sent when Jesus returned bodily to that pre-creation sphere of divine fellowship (see John 14:10,16-18,20,23). So, it surely follows, since humans were created in the image of God when he breathed his Spirit into Adam, that the Son always indwells the Father and the Father indwells the Son through the blessed interaction of the Holy Spirit. What an awesome mystery!

[] Divine Joinings – on earth as in heaven

The Greek verb kollao/proskollao/epakollao, meaning to glue/adhere/cling is frequently used in both Testaments concerning human relationships. Here is a selection:

(i)   Believers in Jesus, joined to the Lord, are one in spirit (Deuteronomy 10:20, ‘hold fast to’; I Corinthians 6:17; Psalm 63:8);

(ii)  Husband and wife become one in flesh (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31, especially through sexual union, 1 Corinthians 6:16);

(iii) Christians, as ‘brothers in covenant’, are joined in heart and soul (See Acts 5:13; 9:26; [compare similar verbs in Ephesians 4:16; Colossians 2:2:19]; especially through being joined to God-appointed ministries – 2 Samuel 20:2, ‘follow steadfastly’; Acts 17:34.)  Note: Job 41:15-17 illustrates how close we should be in covenant loyalty and fellowship: like the crocodile’s scales with never an air bubble between them! And Acts 8:29 and 10:28, ‘to associate with’ – witnessing to unbelievers is best done relationally.

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