John 5.16-18

It was works of this kind done on the Sabbath that stirred the Jews to persecute Jesus.

He defended himself by saying, “My father has never yet ceased his work, and I am working too.”

This made the Jews even more determined to kill him, because he was not only breaking the Sabbath; but by calling God his father, he claimed equality with God.

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2 responses

  1. I think this is a clear example of how thoroughly the author of 'John' misunderstood the political situation Jesus was involved in and the role he was playing in it, ie what issues really got Jesus in trouble with the Judean authorities.The synoptic gospels, much closer to the literal words and deed of Jesus, do say that he was accused (among other things) of breaking the Sabbath in various ways–and that he basically justified himself by legal arguments and Torah interpretations, not by flat contradictions of it.To be 'The Messiah,' the 'son of God,' was not by any means a claim of equality with God. It was merely to be God's annointed king of Israel; a good Jew might well disagree with that claim, but would not consider it in any way blasphemous.

  2. The Johannine text is indeed goofy in this way. It is just crazy Hellenistic. 🙂 It trips awfully close to docetism. I'm always amazed it made it into the canon although it is, I think, the best written of all four.

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