This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:18).
Many people claim that Jesus never said he was God. That is only our interpretation of what the Bible said. What do you do when you want to find out what someone has really said? One thing you can do is interview witnesses. A very important category of witnesses is not only the person’s friends but their enemies. If they are saying the same thing, then it is a sure bet that they both heard the person correctly.
It is obvious from John 5:18 that Jesus’ enemies knew what Jesus was saying about himself. Being equal with God has to be a claim to be God. They heard it and wanted to kill him because of it. This isn’t the only time they understood clearly that Jesus claimed to be God. In John 10:30, Jesus said he and the Father are one. Again, his enemies wanted to kill him for saying this. Just to make sure, Jesus asked them why they wanted to stone him. Their answer was clear, “The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God’” (John 10:33).
Did Jesus’ friends and his disciples believe he was claiming to be God? You could ask Peter because Jesus asked him. “And he [Jesus] asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Christ’” (Mark 8:29). Then a friend, Martha, also made this proclamation to Jesus, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” (John 11:27).
When put under oath at his trial, Jesus answered only one question.
And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matt 26:63-64).
It is important to note that Jesus told these people who wanted him dead, that because he is the Christ, and therefore equal with God being part of the Trinity, then they will see him coming back again with power at the right hand of God. When they see this, it will be too late for them to repent and look to Jesus for salvation because Jesus will be coming back to judge them and everyone else who has rejected him.
Therefore, listen to Jesus’ enemies and understand that he is God. But don’t be like them because Jesus warned them that rejecting him is the same as rejecting the Father. But believing Jesus is the same as believing the Father and that is what brings eternal life (John 5:22-24).