As we have now completed the Pre-Existence component of our Divinity on Trial series, we can move on to the New Testament theme of "Oneness." As stated in The Word became flesh, the Gospel of John gives the "spiritual" presentation of Jesus that the other gospels lack and it is only through a totally banal interpretation of these spiritual words that the "divinity" teachings have arisen. John's gospel is "spiritual" in the sense of his application of universal values e.g. truth vs lies. It represents a clear, analytical appraisal of Jesus' life and work viewed in relationship to its impact upon accepted thought and contemporary values. It has nothing to do with some esoteric spirituality or gnosticism.
One of the most cited passages supposedly confirming the "deity" of Jesus of Nazareth is taken from the Gospel of John, Chapter 10:
"Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
In John 17, Jesus himself expands upon what he meant when he said "I and the Father are one":
"Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that THEY MAY BE ONE EVEN AS WE ARE...Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believeth on me through their word, THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE, even as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee that they also MAY BE IN US. And the glory which thous hast given me, I have given unto them, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one..." (John 17:11, 20, 21-23, 26)
Jesus is speaking of an affinity of spirit - of love - binding his disciples, his believers, himself and the Father into one bondage. If the interpretation is made on the basis that Jesus IS the Father, then there is as much authority for saying the same thing of the disciples, and the believers for all were to be perfected into one.
Jesus was 'anointed' as God's representative on earth with complete authority to speak and act in the Father's name. Phrases such as "I and the Father are one" are 'ex-cathedra' affirmations of the authority vested in him. When not speaking 'ex cathedra', Jesus was careful to distinguish between himself and Almighty God e.g "of myself, I can do nothing."
The 'divinity' teaching imposes a barrier between Jesus and the rest of humanity. It negates the values for which he lived and died by concentrating on the man instead of the message.