The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:15–18)
Some people are just not grateful. Even when someone does something good for them, they don’t say thank you or seek in any way to bless the person who blessed them.
This is precisely what happened in John 5. A man who had been crippled for 38 years was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath. The man never thanked Jesus and walked away only to encounter religious leaders who were unhappy with Jesus. Rather than protecting Jesus from their wrath, the healed man ignited the ridiculous religious rule makers, initiating what would be years of persecution. Yes, Jesus’ persecution began because He healed a lame man. It just goes to show that sometimes you can get into trouble for doing the right thing.
Jesus’ defense was that God was His Father and He was simply going to work with His Dad. If they had a problem with Him, they had a problem with God the Father by extension.
This defense infuriated the religious leaders because Jesus was saying He was God. Make no mistake, this is the issue. Jesus is either God, or He’s not. Jesus showed that He was God with His works. Jesus said that He was God with His words.
Jesus was not killed for healing the sick, caring for the outcast, or feeding the hungry. Jesus was killed for openly, publicly, and repeatedly saying that He was God. Amazingly, Jesus Christ is the only founder of any major world religion to ever say that He was God. His claim is that He is without peer or precedent because no one is like Jesus.
Do you believe that Jesus is God?