But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless [it is] something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and [the Father] will how Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.”
Jesus is God. John’s Gospel message is unmistakable. John begins his Gospel with, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. Jesus’ Gospel message is unmistakable, He is God. Those who heard Jesus in John Chapter Five may not have believed that He was God, but they understood what Jesus was saying, they understood that Jesus was claiming to be God.
Leon Morris, in his NICNT Commentary on John, quotes Barclay (page 276):
“It is, as Barclay says, ‘an act of the most extraordinary and unique courage…He must have known that to speak like this was to court death. It is His claim to be King; and He knew well that the man who listened to words like this had only two alternatives – the listener must either accept Jesus as the Son of God, or he must hate Him as a blasphemer and seek to destroy Him. There is hardly any passage where Jesus appeals for men’s love and defies men’s hatred as He does here.” [Italics mine.]
Have we strayed from the Gospel message that Jesus is God? What import does the Cross have if Jesus is not God? If Jesus is not God the Cross becomes, at best (perhaps?), an example of love; at worst (I suppose) it becomes the epitome of delusion – especially considering that many of His followers suffered and died for Him.
Have our lives drifted from the reality that Jesus is God and as God is to be worshipped? Jesus is not the quarterback on a football team, He is not a CEO, He is not a mascot for faith and family values, He is not an icon for a political or social agenda; Jesus is God. Jesus is not a figure cast as a hitching post, arm extended and hand holding a ring for us to tether our horses; He is not our servant; we are not the masters.
Jesus did not employ a nuanced approach to His declaration that He is God; Jesus did not construct an elaborate seeker-sensitive message. While we see Jesus in other contexts employing teaching and mentoring nuance with His disciples, in terms of the declaration of His identity there is no nuance, there is nothing less than a straightforward approach – how could God deny Himself?
Jesus’ claim to be God is authenticated by the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures to those who believe in Him; witness is given to them that Christ’s testimony is true.
Is Jesus as God central to my life today? Is Jesus as God central to my witness to others?