God Was His Father
Jesus makes some very strong statements and some incredible claims in John 5. Continue to keep in mind that John has written these things “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through His name” (John 20:30–31). Jesus tells the Jews that He is equal with God, and He works miracles that prove God has sent Him.
A Miracle Performed: There was a man which had an infirmity for 38 years (John 5:5). Jesus knew the man had been in the condition for a long time and asks the man if he wants to be made whole (5:6). The man explained he could not enter the pool to be healed when the water was troubled. This man did not know Jesus (5:13), so he was not expecting a miracle. The Lord tells him to take up his bed and walk (5:8). The man obeyed the Lord and went his way, but was confronted by the Jews for carrying his bed on the Sabbath. (5:10–13). He was not breaking God’s law, he was only breaking the traditions of the Jews. Jesus comes back to find this man and tells him to sin no more (5:14). A lesson for Christians to learn today is that when the Lord commands us to do something, whether it is to pick up our beds or to sin no more, we ought to obey!
A Claim Made: The Jews come to Jesus because they do not like the fact that He broke their traditions. He then makes the claim that He is equal with God (5:17–18). They seek to kill him! What blindness they demonstrated in seeking to kill the Lord. Since He had just worked a miracle, they knew God was with Him (John 3:2), so when He claimed to be God they should have believed His message! Jesus said that “the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (5:19). Jesus claimed that the Father committed all judgement unto the Son” (5:22). He then stated that “all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father” (5:23). Jesus could not make His claim any clearer: He is the Son of God and therefore, equal with God! There are some today that would agree that Jesus was a great teacher, but they do not want to accept that He is the Son of God or equal with God.
Consider what C.S. Lewis said regarding this statement:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Lewis 52)
We know that this very subject is the reason why John wrote his gospel account! Jesus goes on to say that He is come in His Father’s name (5:43). Jesus continues to stress the fact that the Father has sent Him (5:36,37,43). Jesus concludes by telling the Jews that Moses wrote of Him (Deuteronomy 18:15). The Jews had, supposedly, great respect for Moses and for the law of Moses. Jesus appeals to the law that they allegedly love so much and says that they should have recognized Him (5:46–47). Scripture provides ample proof that Jesus is the Son of God and equal with God. The question for you and for me is, will we choose to obey Him or not? The choice is ours to make (1:12).
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.