John informs his readers that because of this healing on the Sabbath, the Jews began to persecute Jesus. Legalism is a dreadful distortion of God’s will for those whom He created to live in fellowship with Him. Not outer deeds but inward postures matter to God. When the inner world is ordered around God’s dictates, then the outer world will exhibit utter holiness, a holiness defined by the life and ministry of Jesus. At this rebuke the Jews were outraged, not because Jesus was wrong (they didn’t answer His reply regarding healing on the Sabbath) but because “he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
I noticed 5 responses that Jesus had for the persecution given Him. First, the Son can do nothing without the Father. Second, the Father loves the Son and reveals everything to Him. Third, the power to bestow life itself is shared by the Father and the Son. Fourth, God has given all judgment over to the Son. Fifth, the Father and the Son share equal honor. Sixth, belief in the words of the Son result in eternal life. Finally, the very consummation of the age will be by and through the Son.
The Jews’ objection was in light of their staunch monotheism (the belief in one God). Christians are monotheists as well yet maintain that the nature of the One True God is that He is Triune—three Persons, one God. To the Jewish mind Jesus’ claim to be God was blasphemous in view of the fact that it intimated two Gods. Of course, nothing of the sort was in mind in Jesus’ self-declaration as the Son of God. Rather, Jesus was proclaiming that He was God in human form, the second Person of the Trinity.