What does 'I am in my Father' mean?
Many sectarian teachers have ignored these relationships. This is confirmed as many have misinterpreted the phrase, "I am in my Father" to claim that this means Jesus is the Supreme Being.
This couldn't be furthest from the truth. In fact, this misinterpretation actually eliminates the meaning of Jesus' statement. Jesus is clearly indicating that there are individuals involved and that he and God are separate individuals:
"He who loves me will be loved by my Father" clearly indicates two persons. If Jesus was the Supreme Being, then he would not have said: "by my Father". He would have said, "by me".
Jesus' words do not need to be bent and twisted to produce its meaning. His words are very clear. They simply need to be translated correctly.
For example, the Greek word ἐν (en) is being translated here into "in" as though Jesus is inside of God. This creates a misunderstanding, simply because of a poor translation.
Actually, the Greek word ἐν (en) can mean "in" but it can also mean "by" and "with" according to the lexicon. Any person who simply understands that Jesus is talking about the relationship he has with the Father would naturally translate ἐν (en) in this instance, to "with" rather than "in."
This simple correction would make the translation* clearer - from the Gospels of Jesus:
"At that time you will know that I am with my LORD and you with me, and I with you."The use of "with" is appropriate because Jesus is talking about relationships. When people are involved in a loving relationship, they are "with" each other. They aren't "in" each other. Is Jesus saying that his disciples will be inside of Jesus? That would be an odd statement.
How relationships work
Jesus is talking about his relationship with God, and his relationships with his disciples here. For example:
What if a man we know says to us, "Because you love me my wife loves you." What does this say about the person's wife? It says that his wife loves her husband so much that she also loves anyone who loves her husband. It says that the man and his wife have a very close loving relationship.
In other words, by Jesus saying to his disciples, "He who loves me will be loved by my Father," Jesus is indicating clearly that he enjoys an intimate loving relationship with the Supreme Being.
And it is obvious that this relationship is based on love. Jesus loves the Supreme Being and the Supreme Being loves Jesus.
Love and sacrifice
Jesus' love for the Supreme Being, in fact, is evidenced by his giving up of his physical life in his service to the Supreme Being.
This is the highest form of love. When a person cares about someone to the extent that they are willing to sacrifice their physical life, it indicates true love. This is the nature of true love.
Practically every human on the planet can relate with this, as we refer to a person willing to risk their own life to save another. Or a person loving their country and giving their life for their country. These heroic acts of love are easily recognized because each of us are innately lovers. We are caregivers by nature.
The only problem is that we have been directing our love towards the temporary structures of the physical world. The physical body is a temporary structure, which will grow old, die and decompose into dirt. Therefore, to put one's love upon one or a group of these temporary physical structures is to misdirect our innate loving nature.
The correct direction for our innate loving nature each of us has within is towards the Supreme Being and His children. But again, we are not talking about the physical structures - the temporary vehicles that His children are wearing - but towards the Supreme Being - a spiritual person - and those spiritual persons who are His offspring - whether temporarily occupying one of these physical bodies or not.
This doesn't mean we dismiss caring for someone's physical body. Certainly caring for a person can also include caring for their physical body.
The limitations of caring for a physical body.
But we can only care so much for a physical body. We cannot prevent a physical body from becoming diseased, getting old and dying. We can try, but ultimately we will fail.
This is illustrated by the many doctors and nurses who valiantly try to keep a physical body alive when it is dying. They might be able to extend the body's life by a few hours, days, weeks or even years, but they will never be able to prevent the body from dying. Every body will die.
But the spiritual person within - that person capable of loving - is not the physical body. That person - each of us - rises up from the physical body at the time of death. That person's ability to love continues after the body dies.
This is evidenced by Jesus' statement: "Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me." The "world" will not "see" Jesus because his physical body will be murdered. But after the body is dead, Jesus' spiritual form will continue to live, and those who can enter the realm of the spiritual can "see" Jesus - not with their physical eyes, but with their spiritual eyes.
This is because we each have a spiritual form separate from the physical body. That spiritual form is us: We are our spiritual forms, and our spiritual forms are eternal.
Our spiritual forms are of the essence that the Supreme Being is: spiritual. This is another dimension of existence, outside the scope of the physical senses. We cannot see into the spiritual realm with the physical eyes because the Supreme Being designed these physical bodies and this virtual physical universe to give us a place where we could pretend to be away from the Supreme Being for a while:
In this world, we are not who we really are.
This physical world is a place where we can pretend to be someone we are not for a while. A place where we could pursue our self-centered goals of enjoyment - pursuing the position of master. How could we pretend to be master (boss, star, rich person, fireman, doctor, elected official, etc.) if we could see the Supreme Being?
This is not our natural position, however. By nature we are caregivers. The Supreme Being created us to be His loving caregivers. Love, however, requires freedom. So the Supreme Being gave us the choice to love Him or not. Those who chose not to love Him were sent to this virtual physical universe to be away from Him.
Unlike those who chase their self-centered dreams to become famous, wealthy or gain sensual pleasure within this virtual world; those who choose to remain loving caregivers of the Supreme Being are completely fulfilled. This is because loving God and His children is our natural state.
This is the source of the expression: "'tis better to give than to receive." We feel better when we give because we are givers by nature. This is our natural position.
And when we are living in our natural state, we are loving the Supreme Being above all else. We live for His pleasure. We want to please Him more than we want pleasure.
The Supreme Being reciprocates such a relationship of love. It is not as if the Supreme Being just sits back and absorbs our love. The Supreme Being is an active person. He is engaged in so many activities and relationships with His loving caregivers in the spiritual realm.
And His love for His children is powerful. It is a love like no other love. It is unconditional love. It is undying love. It is love that we can depend upon. It is love that radiates through a person. It is a love that when experienced, automatically extends to others. When we experience the Supreme Being's love for us, we naturally love others, because we see His love not only for us, but also for others.
This is the type of love that Jesus is discussing. Jesus is experiencing God's love for him, and He is exchanging a loving relationship with the Supreme Being. This relationship extends to others in the form of Jesus' love for others. This is evidenced here when Jesus says, "I too will love him".
This relationship between Jesus and the Supreme Being creates a special intimacy between those of Jesus' students who are following his teachings and trying to use their lives to please Jesus and please the Supreme Being. This is the true meaning of being alive, according to Jesus:
"Because I live, you also will live."Jesus uses the word "live" - from the Greek ζάω (zaō) - not to indicate being physically alive. The use of ζάω (zaō) here relates to spiritual life: Our loving caregiving relationship with the Supreme Being and His children. Because Jesus has this relationship, their serving Jesus - following his "commands" - allows them to enter the relationship Jesus has with God.
Why is following Jesus' instructions so important? - to the point where he says:
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."Obeying one's instructions is called service. Loving service is connected to love. By following Jesus' instructions, his students - and each of us - can return to our innate loving service relationship with the Supreme Being. And what is the most important instruction ("commands") that he wants his students to "obey"?
“ ‘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 from the Gospels of Jesus:
"Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me because I live and you also will live. At that time you will know that I am with my LORD and you with me, and I with you.” (John 14:2-4)