In this episode of “Offending the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” our response to DefendingJehovahsWitnesses.Blogspot.com, we are going to cover their “explanation” of John 5:18.
DefendingJehovahsWitnesses.Blogspot.com is a front of JW.org, the official website of the Watchtower Society. Instead of being honest and admitting that the Governing Body of the organization is purposely trying to respond to criticisms of their organization, the website is hosted by “Elijah Daniels” who otherwise cannot be found on Google or contacted. Their website does not allow comments, so we respond here as a means to make people aware of the lies taught by the Governing Body of the organization.
For those unaware of the verse and its immediate context here it is:
For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God (John 5:16-18).
Now, we can understand that “He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also…making Himself equal with God” is not a matter of opinion. The Holy Spirit, through John, is the narrator of the Gospel. God does not err when He puts those words there. The Gospel is not merely representing the thoughts of the Jews. God Himself says definitively why Christ was getting the Jews angry: He was breaking their twisted Sabbath regulations and was calling God His own Father.
Then, interestingly enough, the infallible narrator of the Gospel tells us what the logical consequence of calling God one’s own Father would be: God, through John, then clarifies that calling God His own Father essentially makes “Himself equal with God.” So, God Himself clearly and unambiguously says that the Son is equal to the Father.
How does “Elijah Daniels” respond to this?
The Jews were wrongly accusing Jesus of making himself equal to God in the authority to change the Law. Jesus would certainly not break the Law which was still in effect until his sacrificial death…So, when the Jews accused him of making himself equal to God (by “breaking” the Sabbath traditions of the Jews and claiming that it was not wrong to heal on the Sabbath), they were insisting that their tradition of not healing on the Sabbath was actually God’s will. And, therefore, Jesus’ claim that it was lawful to do so was “making himself equal to God” (in this case of healing and “changing” the Law – which would be God’s right alone).
Do you notice the misdirection? “Elijah” claims that it was Christ’s position on the Sabbath that the Jews, apparently misinterpreted, made Himself equal to God. However, the text does not lend itself over to this interpretation. Clearly, both the Sabbath and calling God His Father were at question, not the former.
Saying that it was just the Sabbath is intellectually dishonest, it is a flat out lie. As Jesus Christ warns, “You shall know them by their fruits.” If Elijah Daniels’ fruits are lies, what does that say about the tree that produces the fruits?
Then we have “Elijah’s” interpretation of Jesus Christ’s response:
He clearly told the Jews that he was not God, but that, even as God’s spokesman, he could not act upon his own initiative.
Is that true? How did Jesus respond to the Jews calling God His own Father, which God tells us in the holy inspired Scripture “makes Himself equal to God?”
If this was not Jesus’ attention we would expect Him to say, “Wait, wait, wait, I didn’t mean it like that…” Is that how He responded? No!
After speaking to how He submits to the will of the Father (a teaching we have covered here🙂
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him (John 5:21- 23).
Jesus Christ obviously reaffirms and makes clear His deity. How? Two points.
1. The ability to judge and give life to whom He pleases is a character of God. Isn’t it without doubt if all judgement is given to the Son He must be God?
The Scripture says that God alone is judge: “[M]ay the Lord, the Judge, judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon” (Judges 11:27). “The Lord will judge the ends of the earth” (1 Sam 2:10). “For He is coming to judge the earth” (1 Chron 16:33). “He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity” (Ps 9:8). Just in case there is any ambiguity Paul makes clear that “God judge[s] the world” (Rom 3:6), “God judges” (1 Cor 5:13), and “Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead” (2 Tim 4:1).
2. To honor the Son even as they honor the Father means to be worshiped identically. The word “honor” occurs 23 times in the New Testament. It consistently refers to three types of people: God, parents, and the government. Are we charged to honor our parents equal to the Father? No. Are we told to honor the king equal to the Father? No. Yet, we are told to honor the Son “even as they honor the Father.” Yet, we worship the Father! There is no higher honor than to literally by worshiped as God. How can we then honor the Son even as the Father if we do not honor Him as God Himself?
What Jesus said was clear to the Jews, even if it is not clear to the deceiving “Elijah Daniels.” When the Jews were indignant that He was making Himself equal to God, Christ then unequivocally states that it is He who judges and He who must be honored. This is a very clear statement of deity that “interestingly” enough “Elijah Daniels” glossed over.
Why? Because he is a liar and he belongs to the Father of Lies, Satan himself. May God have mercy and bring repentance to those deceived by the Watchtower.