on John 5 :18
Making himself equal with God - This the Jews understood from the preceding verse: nor did they take a wrong meaning out of our Lord's words; for he plainly stated that, whatever was the Father's work, his was the same; thus showing that He and the Father were One. They had now found out two pretenses to take away his life: one was that he had broken the Sabbath - ελυε, dissolved, as they pretended, the obligation of keeping it holy. The other was that he was guilty of blasphemy, in making himself equal to God: for both which crimes, a man, according to the law, must suffer death. See Numbers 15:32; Leviticus 24:11, Leviticus 24:14, Leviticus 24:16.
on John 5 :18
The more to kill him - The answer of Jesus was suited greatly to irritate them. He did not deny what he had done, but he "added" to that what he well knew would highly offend them. That he should claim the right of dispensing with the law, and affirm that, in regard to its observance, he was in the same condition with God, was eminently suited to enrage them, and he doubtless knew that it might endanger his life. We may learn from his answer:
1. that we are not to keep back truth because it may endanger us.
2. that we are not to keep back truth because it will irritate and enrage sinners. The fault is not in the "truth," but in the "sinner."
3. that when any one portion of truth enrages hypocrites, they will be enraged the more they hear.
Had broken the sabbath - They supposed he had broken it.
Making himself equal with God - This shows that, in the view of the Jews, the name Son of God, or that calling God his Father, implied equality with God. The Jews were the best interpreters of their own language, and as Jesus did not deny the correctness of their interpretations, it follows that he meant to be so understood. See John 10:29-38. 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. They had now two pretences for seeking to kill him - one for making himself equal with God, which they considered blasphemy, and the other for violating the Sabbath. For each of these the law denounced death, Numbers 15:35; Leviticus 24:11-14.
on John 5 :18
5:18 His own Father - The Greek word means his own Father in such a sense as no creature can speak. Making himself equal with God - It is evident all the hearers so understood him, and that our Lord never contradicted, but confirmed it.