Daily Word

Jesus is God? | John 5:16-18

16 For this reason the Jews began to persecute Jesus continually because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now [He has never ceased working], and I too am working.” 18 This made the Jews more determined than ever to kill Him, for not only was He breaking the Sabbath [from their viewpoint], but He was also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

John 5:16-18 (AMP)

Anger notches up

The Jews (Jewish leaders) were already upset with Jesus for healing the guy on the Sabbath and breaking their Sabbath rules (which were beyond what God had intended). They were out to get him and began to persecute Him. Jesus’ response in verse 17 notched up their anger. As verse 18 says, not only was he breaking the Sabbath and leading others in it, He was now, “making Himself equal with God”. That is pure blasphemy! It must be dealt with severely.

Jesus is God

Jesus leaves no room to doubt about His claims to be God. As here, it is corroborated by the response of the Jews to persecute Him and, eventually, have Him crucified. Some critics will say, “Jesus never says, ‘I am God’, so he can’t be God”. Although Jesus never says literally, “I am God”, it is clear that this is His claim. Let’s take a look at a few passages, just in John, that make it clear:

  • John 5:17 – our verse today as we just discussed.
  • John 1:1, 14 – We looked at this earlier. The Word was with God in the beginning and is God…this Word became flesh and dwelt among us. 
  • John 10:30 – Jesus says, “I and the Father are one”. The Jews knew exactly what He was saying so responded in John 10:31-33 by preparing to stone Him for claiming to be God. John’s gospel records numerous times Jesus compares Himself to and ties Himself directly to God, the Father.
  • John 20:28 – Thomas (called the doubting Thomas) finally understands who Jesus is and declares, “My Lord and my God”. The disciples worshiped Him on many other occasions – like Matthew 28:9.

There are many other passages, like Colossians 1:16–17 and Hebrews 1, that support this. That is not to mention all the Old Testament prophecies that declare His divinity – like Psalm 110:1 – which Jesus explained in Matthew 22:44 refers to Him. 

Not enough? Check here for a more exhaustive list. There are plenty of articles, like this one from answersingenesis.org, if you want to read more. 

<- Reflection ->
  • Do you truly believe Jesus is God? How is that reflected in what you believe day-to-day? Do you take time to worship Him and verbally acknowledge He is Lord?
Jesus is God. Image from http://www.powerpackedpromises.com *

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