18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
The Jews immediately understood what Jesus said about His equality with the Father.
Jewish leadership sought to kill Jesus because of His claim to deity (v. 17). They did not miss the import of Jesus’ assertion to be God.
the Jews sought all the more to kill Him,
It was bad enough for Jesus to heal on the Sabbath for these Jewish leaders, but for Him to claim deity as the Son of the Father was treason.
This passage is the first reference to the Jews desire to kill Jesus. Their conflict with Jesus escalates from this point.
because He not only broke the Sabbath,
Jesus broke the non-biblical oral tradition called the Talmud.
but also said that God was His [own] Father,
Jesus claim to be the Son of God was an assertion of His deity. He was the “only begotten Son of the Father” (Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18). The Jews pounced on Jesus for making Himself equal to the Father. The issue of Jesus’ deity dwarfed the conflict about the Sabbath.
making Himself equal with God.
Jesus’ claim to be equal to the Father was intolerable for the religious leaders of Jesus day. The Jews understood clearly that He claimed equality with God (Jn 8:58-59; 10:33; 19:7). If this was a mistaken interpretation by the Jews, Jesus would have corrected their misunderstanding at once.
It is interesting that one of the strongest statements of the deity of Christ came from His enemies. They understood clearly what Jesus claimed about Himself.
Jesus is at once coeternal and subordinate to the Father.
The Bible sets forth the deity of Christ from several perspectives. A few of these perceptions are that (1) Jesus preexisted eternally (Jn 1:1; 6:62; 8:23; 17:5), (2) He assumed prerogatives of deity such as the right to forgive sins (Mr 2:5f), (3) He possesses attributes of God: omnipotence (Mt 28:18; Re 1:8), omnipresence (Mt 28:20; Eph 1:23), omniscience (Mt 9:4; Jn 2:24-25; Ac 1:24; 1 Co 4:5), (4) The Word of God expressly calls Christ God (Jn 1:1; 20:28; Ti 2:13), (5) other passages speak of His deity (Ph 2:6; Co 2:9; He 1:8; 1 Jn 5:20).
John 10: 30 I and My Father are one.” 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”