Second, Jesus claimed to be equal with God.
1. Jesus calls God “Father” and claims equality with God. Even his enemies acknowledged that He claimed to be the Son of God.
a) “The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder 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
b) “In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’“ Matthew 27:41-43
2. Jesus assumed for himself powers that only God has:
a) Forgiveness of sins: Jesus forgives sin that was committed against God. Only God has authority to forgive sin against God. By forgiving such sin, Jesus declares His deity. His enemies correctly understood this point.
• “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25
• “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.“ Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:5-7
Such a statement would be an arrogant assumption of authority if Jesus were not God. If someone does a wrong to me, I have the moral right to decide to forgive them, but I don’t have the right or authority to forgive a wrong that was done to someone else. All wrong-doing violates God’s laws and thus He is the offended party. As stated in the passage in Isaiah above, God can blot out, or forgive, violations of His law. So when Jesus presumed to forgive the paralytic, the teachers of the law rightly concluded that He claimed to be God.
b) The giving of life:
“I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out–those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:25-29
Jesus did not merely claim to give life, he actually raised people from the dead on several occasions:
In Luke 7:11-17, Jesus saw the funeral procession of the only son of a widow in the city of Nain. Jesus had compassion on her and raised her son from the dead.
In Luke 8:41-46, the young daughter of Jairus, the ruler of the local synagogue, had died, but Jesus brought her back to life.
On both of these occasions, the son and daughter had only been dead for a short time. That was not the case with the next one. Probably the most famous account of Jesus bringing someone back from the dead was in John 11 where his friend Lazarus of Bethany had died and been in the grave for four days. As the someone in the crowd commented, after so much time there would have been an awful stench from the rotting flesh. But Jesus told them to remove the stone, and he then told Lazarus to come out of the tomb, which he did, still wrapped up in the burial wrappings! Such a miracle requires the power of God.