“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”-John 14:10-11
This must have been a startling statement for the disciples to hear. Remember, for observant Jews, God was transcendent. He had revealed himself to some: Moses, Daniel, and Isaiah, for example, but even with those chosen few, there was no talk of mutual indwelling. Jesus’s statement was truly astounding. Not only did he say that God was in him, but that he was in God.
What did Jesus’s statement mean for the disciples? What does it mean for you and me? Jesus was implying that because of this mutual indwelling, he spoke with the authority of the Father. His teachings were not merely a man’s words, even if he was the wisest man ever. His claim was that he spoke the very words of God.
Jesus also talked about being in the Father. Although the Bible never used the word Trinity, it is implied in many places. Jesus told the disciples, and us, that the Father, Son, and Spirit are present within one another. There is an old Greek word—perichoresis—that describes this Trinitarian relationship. It literally means “to dance around” (peri=around; choreo=dance). The image of dancing helps us to grasp the flow of the Father, Son, and Spirit into and around one another in true oneness.
We can trust the words of Jesus because they flow from the Trinity. We can trust the works of the Son because they are the works of God himself.
Jesus, my limited mind cannot grasp the full magnificence and wonder of your words and works. You dwell and dance with the Father and the Spirit, distinct, but completely one. Expand my mind to know your Trinitarian intimacy. Amen.