What Jesus Did! 'Equal with God' — John 5:18

Thursday, April 3, 2014

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This made these Jews try harder to kill him. {The Jews said}, "First this man (Jesus) was breaking the law about the Sabbath day. Then he said that God is his Father! He is making himself equal with God!"
— John 5:18
Illustration of John 5:18 — "First this man (Jesus) was breaking the law about the Sabbath day. Then he said that God is his Father! He is making himself equal with God!"

Key Thought

John's Gospel confronts us with a crucial decision: is Jesus really the Son of God, God with us in human flesh? He paints the story of Jesus so we see that he claims to be God—the "I Am" statements ("I am the Good Shepherd," "I am the resurrection and the life," "I am the bread of life," "Before Abraham was I am," etc.) tie Jesus to the revelation of Israel's God in Exodus 3. Jesus does only what the Father wants him to do. Jesus and the Father are one. If we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father. While we may not truly grasp what the phrase "Jesus is the Son of God" truly means, Jesus' opponents in his own day did. They knew he was making himself equal with God. Their reaction is appropriate because Jesus is either a blasphemer who must be stopped, a delusional power-grabbing religious rebel who must be thwarted, or he is God with us, Immanuel, Son of God, and our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. What is your decision?

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, thank you for being God come in human flesh. Jesus shows me so much of who you are and how you care about me. Forgive me for the times I have not held you in appropriate reverence. Forgive me for the times that I have robbed your incarnation of its grit and mortality. I confess that I cannot fully comprehend how this all works, but I do know this, dear Father: I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son, and my great God and Savior. In his name I pray and praise you. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus was doing these things (healing) on the Sabbath day. So the Jews began to do bad things to Jesus. But Jesus said to the Jews, "My Father never stops working. And so I work too." This made these Jews try harder to kill him. {The Jews said}, "First this man (Jesus) was breaking the law about the Sabbath day. Then he said that God is his Father! He is making himself equal with God!" But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. The Son can do nothing alone. The Son does only what he sees his Father doing. The Son does the same things that the Father does. The Father loves the Son, and the Father shows the Son all the things he does. {This man was healed.} But the Father will show the Son greater things than this to do. Then you will all be amazed. The Father raises dead people and gives them life. In the same way, the Son gives life to the people he wants to. Also, the Father judges no one. But the Father has given the Son power to do all the judging. God did this so that all people will respect the Son the same as they respect the Father. If a person does not respect the Son, then that person does not respect the Father. The Father is the One who sent the Son. "I tell you the truth. If a person hears what I say and believes in the One (God) who sent me, that person has life forever. That person will not be judged guilty. He has already left death and has entered into life. I tell you the truth. An {important} time is coming. That time is already here. People that are dead {in sin} will hear the voice of the Son of God. And the people that {accept the things they} hear {from the Son} will have life {forever}. Life comes from the Father (God) himself. So the Father has also allowed the Son (Jesus) to give life. And the Father has given the Son the power to judge all people. Why? Because that Son is the Son of Man. Don't be surprised at this. A time is coming when all people that are dead and in their graves will hear his voice. Then they will come out of their graves.The people that did good in this life will rise and have life forever. But the people that did evil will rise to be judged guilty. "I can do nothing alone. I judge only the way I am told. So my judgment is right. Why? Because I don't try to please myself. But I want to please the One (God) who sent me.

John 5:16-30

Related Scripture Readings

Before the world began, the Word was there. The Word was there with God. The Word was God. He was there with God in the beginning. The Word became a man and lived among us. We saw his glory—the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father. The Word was full of grace (kindness) and truth. No man has ever seen God. But the only Son (Jesus) is God. He is very close to the Father (God). And the Son has shown us what God is like.

John 1:1-2, 14, 18

Jesus answered, "I am the way. I am the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. If you really knew me, then you would know my Father too. But now you know the Father. You have seen him." Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need." Jesus answered, "Philip, I have been with you for a long time. So you should know me. The person that has seen me has seen the Father too. So why do you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you truly believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The things I have told you don't come from me. The Father lives in me, and he is doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or believe because of the miracles I have done.

John 14:6-11

{That is the way we should live,} because God's grace (kindness) has come. That grace can save every person. And that grace has been given to us. That grace teaches us not to live against God and not to do the bad things the world wants to do. That grace teaches us to live on earth now in a wise and right way—a way that shows that we serve God. We should live like that while we are waiting for the coming of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is our great hope, and he will come with glory. He gave himself for us. He died to free us from all evil. He died to make us pure people that belong only to him—people that are always wanting to do good things.

Titus 2:11-14

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.