"If I am not doing my Father's works, do not believe me...” (John 10:37-38)

"If I am not doing my Father's works, do not believe me. But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:37-38) 

What does Jesus mean by 'my Father's works'?

Jesus is defining the service that he is doing on behalf of the Supreme Being. This is often misinterpreted as only Jesus' miracles. But 'works' includes his preaching.

Jesus is clarifying here that his service to the Supreme Being is the criteria that they can judge him by.

The phrase "my Father's works" is taken from the Greek words ἔργα τοῦ πατρός, which literally mean "the works of my Father." According to the lexicon, ἔργα means:
1) business, employment, that which any one is occupied
a) that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking
2) any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind
3) an act, deed, thing done
In other words, we are talking about service. And the words τοῦ πατρός mean "of my Father." So Jesus is saying that they should only believe in him if he is serving God. If he is not serving God, he says, then they should not believe in him.

But then he says that if they see that he is serving God ("doing my Father's works") "then even though you do not believe me, believe the works."

What does Jesus mean by 'believe' here?

The word "believe" is being translated from πιστεύω (pisteuō), which means, according to the lexicon, 'to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.' In other words, it means to trust. 

So Jesus is talking about trust here. He is standing in front of them so there is no question of whether they believe in Jesus' existence. Rather, Jesus is referring to trusting in what he is teaching them.

Therefore, we can also understand from this that "believe the works" means to trust in what the Supreme Being is doing. In other words, Jesus is asking that they trust in what God is doing through Jesus.

Is Jesus saying he is 'in' God?

And therein lies the meaning of Jesus' last point here: "so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Jesus is not speaking in physical terms here. He is not saying that he is physically inside God.

In fact, the word "in" here is a mistranslation.* "In" is being taken from the word ἐν (en), which can mean 'in' or 'by' or 'with' according to the lexicon. These words, "by" or "with" obviously do not connotate being inside someone. They indicate being with someone, in the sense of belonging to someone else. This takes place within the context of a loving relationship.

In other words, Jesus is not saying that he is physically inside of the Supreme Being and the Supreme Being is inside of him. Jesus is saying that he is with the Supreme Being, and the Supreme Being is with him. Rather, they are together in purpose and will, because Jesus is doing the Supreme Being's will.

Is this consistent with Jesus' prior statement?

The fact that Jesus is doing God's works means that he is focused on the Supreme Being's desires and will. He is doing what God wants him to do. Doing what someone else wants indicates the existence of two individuals: The person who wants something done, and the person who does what the other person wants.

This is what loving service to God is all about. If a person loves another, they want to do that person's will. This is Jesus' case. He loves God and wants what God wants. This creates a union between them: A union of will. A union of desire. They both have the same desire and will: God's will.

Does having the same will eliminate individuality?

Just because Jesus is doing God's will does not mean that Jesus is God. It does not eliminate Jesus' individual existence. Nor does it eliminate God's individual existence. 

It is just the opposite: It indicates God's separate existence from Jesus.

Jesus is stating that he is serving the Supreme Being. He is saying that even if they don't trust him they should trust God's works (what the Supreme Being wanted Jesus to do) indicates that Jesus was trying to point them towards God.

Ironically, just as the Pharisees and chief priests had this misunderstanding that Jesus was claiming to be God - which he is trying to clarify here that he is not - this same misunderstanding about Jesus being God has plagued organized Christian sects for centuries, to this day.

Piece by piece, organized Christian institutions have systematically eliminated God the Supreme Being out of the equation by equating Jesus with God. This began with Paul, and continued through the Roman government's organization of the First Council of Nicaea and the resultant Nicene Creed.

This misinterpretation is truly offensive to Jesus. Jesus came to teach us to love the Supreme Being. If we are ignoring God, how can we learn to love Him? 

If we misidentify and confuse God with God's messenger, then how can we come to know God? This is confirmed by Jesus when he said:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)
In this statement, Jesus is confirming that one may praise Jesus all day long, and they may be healing people and doing all sorts of miracles, but if they are not serving the Supreme Being then he wants nothing to do with them. "I never knew you. Away from me" is a pretty strong statement.

Jesus wants nothing to do with these people who give all this lip service about Jesus but fail to focus their love, trust, and service upon his Beloved, the Supreme Being. And this, sadly, is what is transpiring amongst many of today's ecclesiastical sects.

Jesus confirms that we should focus our entire lives upon God when he was asked, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" (Matt. 22:36) Jesus' answered by quoting Moses' statement from Deut 6:5:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)


*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement according to the Lost Gospels of Jesus:

"If I do not do the service of my LORD, do not trust me. But if I do, though you don’t trust me, trust the service, so that you will know and perceive that the Creator is with me and I am with the Creator.” (John 10:16-18)