This text has been grossly mistranslated* and misinterpreted.
Not only by the Jewish pharisees that were in the audience. But also by many ecclesiastical and professional sectarian teachers today.
Jesus is clarifying here that he is serving the Supreme Being. 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 occupiedIn 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.
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
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 "believe" mean 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 not talking about 'religious belief.' He is simply 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 inside of 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.
This is 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.
Having the same will or desire does not eliminate one of the persons.
Just because Jesus is doing God's will does not mean that Jesus is God. It does not eliminate God's existence. It is just the opposite: It indicates God's separate existence from Jesus.
The fact that Jesus is making a big deal out of the fact that he is serving the Supreme Being, and 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.
This misunderstanding about Jesus being God is the big catastrophe of modern Christianity, one that started when Constantine and the Roman government confiscated and plagiarized the teachings of Jesus by misinterpretation and mistranslation. They systematically tried to eliminate God the Supreme Being out of the equation by trying to equate Jesus with God, which gave the Roman government the ability to control the populace by their control over Jesus' teachings.
This misinterpretation is truly offensive to Jesus, as he came to teach us to love the Supreme Being. If we ignore God, how can we learn to love Him? If we misidentify and confuse God with one of God's loving servants, 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 wanted us to love and serve God
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 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)