Equal With God
John 5:18 (ESV) — This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Many of the people in Jesus’ day hated Him. He threatened the power and authority of the religious elites in His day. The Roman Empire saw Him as a threat, not because they took Him seriously, but because it was a potential insurrection. Israel’s leaders heard His teaching and knew He was of God. But what angered them beyond control were the implied references Jesus made about being God.
We read this in our passage today. In John 5:18, we read John’s commentary about the religious leaders. He says, “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
The Jews sought to kill Him because He not only broke the Sabbath, according to their traditions, but because His words put Himself on equal footing with God. What words did He use to imply this? He called God His Father. This never happened in Israel. There are not even examples of Abraham, Moses, or David calling God “Father.” We don’t see Adam or any prophets call God “Father.” But Jesus does. This enraged the religious leaders.
But why did Jesus do it? Because He was not simply a human being. He did not make Himself God’s Son. He was eternally the Son of God before He ever stepped into the flesh. Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity. He has always existed with the Father. When the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son, became flesh in the person of Jesus, He remained the Son of God. This is why Jesus called God His Father. The implications were clearly understood by the religious leaders. And if Jesus isn’t God, they were rightfully upset at Him. But He is God.
Throughout Scripture, Jesus makes statements that prevent us from simply calling Him a good person. He is either God in the flesh or a crazy man that claimed to be.
Each person must reckon
with who Jesus is.
If He is not God, then go on about
your life as you please.
But if He is, then His Word
should guide us and we should
submit to Him in all things as Lord.
The Scriptures declare He is the Son of God.
He is God.
Worship and serve Him.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why did the religious leaders get so angry at Jesus’ statement that made Him equal to God?
- What do Jesus’ words intend for us to deal with?
- How should we live in response to Jesus’ words in this passage?
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