John 5:24 – Jesus says that whoever “heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life.” Yet, earlier on (in John 3:36) Jesus also said “he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” How can this be? Is Jesus equating Himself with God the Father?

John 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
John 5:23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Consider the following two verses:
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)

In the two verses above, we are given TWO names whereby we must be saved: Jesus (“the Son”) and God the Father (“Him that sent me”). Yet, the bible in Acts 4:12, speaking of Jesus says: “Neither is there salvation in any other [Person]: for there is NO OTHER name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. This verse compels us to understand that both Jesus the Christ and God His Father must be one. This conclusion should not come as a surprise to us since later on in the Book of John, Jesus asserts this very thing (cf. John 10:30).

In conclusion, when Jesus uses His name and His Father’s name interchangeably in regards to Who must be believed on for everlasting life; He is also claiming that both names and therefore both Persons are equal. Logically speaking, Jesus is claiming to be equal with God.

John 5:23 – That all men should honor the Son [Jesus], the same way that they honor the Father

John 5:20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
John 5:21  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
John 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
John 5:23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Of course, this means that if God is worshipped, then Christ must be worshipped as well; If Christ is not worshipped as God then He is not being honored in the same way that the Father would be honored. On the other hand, if one does worship Christ as they would worship God–and Jesus is NOT God–then that person has committed idolatry. Herein lies the problem with taking this verse to mean anything other than a claim of equality with God.

As it pertains to John 5:23 David Guzik says:

This is a further claim to deity. If the Son were not God, then it would be wrong to honor the Son just as they honor the Father. It also means that if we do not honor the Son, we do not really honor the Father either. Jesus claims the same right to worship from men that the Father has.

John Wesley’s remarks regarding the same verse are:

This demonstrates the EQUALITY of the Son with the Father. If our Lord [Jesus] were God only by office or investiture, and not in the unity of the Divine essence, and in all respects equal in Godhead with the Father, he could not be honoured even as, that is, with the same honour that they honoured the Father. He that honoureth not the Son – With the same equal honour, greatly dishonoureth the Father that sent him.

As we can see, verbally tethering yourself to God in terms of the kind of respect or honour that others should pay you, is a straightforward way of intimating to your listeners that you are equal with God. This is precisely what Jesus did in John 5:23.

John 5:22 – Who is doing the final judgment anyway? Is it God or Jesus?

John 5:20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
John 5:21  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
John 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
John 5:23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Continue reading

John 5:21 – The Bible in the Old Testament states that only God can raise someone from the dead; yet, Jesus claims that He also can do the same!

John 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
John 5:20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
John 5:21  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

In John 5:21 Jesus’ deity claim involves the power to resurrect the dead and though it’s different from the claim of omnipotence in verse 19, the power of resurrection is a subset of omnipotence. Earlier, Christ stated that He could do all things that God does; now here in verse 21 He mentions a specific act that God does then He claims to have the power to do the same. What makes this claim all the more audacious is the fact that the Old Testament specifically states that only God can raise someone from the dead. In Deuteronomy 32:39 we read:

See now that I [God], even I, am he, and there is no god beside me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there ANY that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

In Deuteronomy 32:39, as if the exclusivity of the subject’s “I, even I” were not enough, the word “neither” (which is used to indicate that the next statement is similarly negative) in the last phrase of the verse assures us that, not only isn’t there anyone that can deliver out of God’s hand, there also isn’t ANY that can cause a person to die or be made alive except for God.

For John 5:21, Dr. Bob Utley states:

In the Old Testament YHWH [God] is the only one who can give life. The fact that Jesus can raise the dead is equivalent to a statement of equality with YHWH.

In addition, Adame Clarke’s commentary states that in verse 21:

Jesus “points out his sovereign power and independence; he gives life according to his own will – not being obliged to supplicate for the power by which it was done, as the prophets did; his own will being absolute and sufficient in every case.”

In conclusion, when Jesus claims to have resurrection power, He is claiming to be God!

John 5:20 – Who has known the mind of God? Jesus!

John 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
John 5:20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Jesus claims that God shows Him all things that He does. According to the dictionary, to “do” means to engage in. So, if I engage in thought then I’m doing something called thinking. The Bible informs us that when God swears by Himself he uses the phrase “As I live”; yet, since God is not a man, the verb “live” is taken as an anthropomorphism or a metaphor that points to the fact that God thinks or engages in thought. In this way, the bible and the dictionary agree that thinking is doing; therefore, since thinking is something that God does, then from the John 5:20 sentence we must deduce that EVERYTIME God thinks, God is showing Jesus what He is thinking; consequently Jesus knows the mind of God.

In fact, in order to know ALL things that God the Father does including the things that God will do in the future (as verse 20 states), Jesus would have to have the mind of God. So we see that it is not possible to make the claim to know ALL the things that God is doing or will do without actually knowing the mind of God. With all of this in mind, the bible in Isaiah 40:13, Romans 11:34 and 1 Corinthians 2:16 asks the following rhetorical question: Who has known the mind of God? After converting this sentence from the interrogative mode to the declarative mode (as the biblical context requires us to) we arrive at the proposition that NO ONE has known the mind of God! Yet, Jesus claims this exact divine prerogative. What else can be concluded except that Jesus must be God. In fact, if Jesus is not God, then these verses suggesting that no one has known the mind of God are erroneous.

Additionally, since God knows everything and is unceasingly disclosing to Jesus ALL that He is thinking, then it follows that Jesus must be omniscient; a characteristic that only belongs to God. The bible scholar Albert Barnes commenting on this verse states: And as God shows him “all” that he does, he [Jesus] must be possessed of omniscience, for to no finite mind could be imparted a knowledge of “all” the works of God.

In summary, claiming to know the mind of God and asserting omniscience are outright declarations that one is God. Jesus makes these declarations ergo He claims that He is God.

John 5:19 – Whatever God the Father can do, Jesus can do the same.

John 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

When one reads the first part of John 5:19 one may walk away with the idea that apart from God, Jesus is powerless. After all, Jesus states: “I can do nothing of my self, except those things that I see God the Father do.” However, upon reading the entire verse, we realize that the exact opposite is true. Meaning, if Jesus does whatever God does (as the second half of John 5:19 asserts), then it follows that Jesus can do whatever God can do. Moreover, if Jesus can do whatever God can do, then Jesus must be equal to the Almighty God. Interestingly, later on in verse 21, we see a necessary consequence of verse 19: Since God can raise to life whomever He wants to, likewise, Jesus can raise to life whomever he wants as well. As stated earlier, in the John 5:17-24 excerpt Jesus’ intent is to demonstrate that He is not guilty of breaking the Sabbath. We have just seen that in verse 19 Jesus links His acts to God’s acts and by doing so, He has the Jews in the uncomfortable position of accusing God the Father of also breaking the Sabbath. As David Guzik puts it:

He [Jesus] is also saying “If I have broken the Sabbath, so has God also; for I can do nothing but what I see him doing. He is ever governing and preserving; I am ever employed in saving.”

Finally, when Jesus says that He only does what He sees God the Father doing, it is natural to envision two people side by side with the one person imitating the other; but this is not the right way to interpret the verse. Rather, what Jesus is saying is that His will and His actions are not independent from His Father’s will and actions; they are independent Persons with dependent wills and actions (see John 14:10). As such is the case, neither does (or can do) anything independent of the Other. Verse 19 then becomes a proof-text for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Regarding verse 19, Dr. John P. Lange in his Commentary on the OT and NT, notes that this verse “excludes the idea of imitation and the analogy of master and servant, or teacher and pupil; it points to the equality of the Son with the Father. The Son does the same things with the same power and in the same manner.”

So, we see that if a person is able to do all things that God can do, by definition, that person must be God. Jesus says He does everything that God does, so Jesus is saying that He is God.

John 5:17 – My Father works on the Sabbath, and so do I

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:16-18)

a) God is my Father
b) My Father works on the Sabbath
c) I also therefore work on the Sabbath

Or, since God can work on the Sabbath then so can I. This second argument that Jesus makes in verse 17 is reached by combining sentences B and C above.  From these two propositions in verse 17, we must understand Jesus to be saying that it is within His right to do what God is doing (i.e. working on the Sabbath). Therefore, it’s good, necessary and not unreasonable to arrive at the inference that Jesus thinks that He and God are equals. Incidentally Jesus confirms this interpretation of John 5:17 when He states in Matthew 12:8 that “The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” How can a mere man claim to have authority over an ordinance (the Sabbath) that was instituted by God if the man Himself is not God?

Additional Commentary:

My Father has been working until now, and I have been working: In our terminology, Jesus would say: “My Father works on the Sabbath, and so do I.” By this Jesus makes it clear that He is equal to God the Father, and reminds us that God doesn’t take holidays. – Guzik Commentary on O.T. and N.T.

The interpretation of the Jews was a very natural and just one. He not only said that God was his Father, but he said that he had the same right to work on the Sabbath that God had; that by the same authority, and in the same manner, he could dispense with the obligation of the day. – Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Conclusion:
Only God could dispense with the obligation of keeping the Sabbath; by Jesus admission that He works (and has been working until now) on the Sabbath we are right to necessarily conclude that Jesus was claiming to be equal with God.