(Biases on the table: I am a Christian and believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, namely, the eternal Λογος of God Rev 19:13 (who is distinct from the Father προς τον θεον, but of the same nature και θεος [εστιν], hence the terms Father and Son), as I believe John incontrovertably teaches in his Prologue: John 1:1; 14.)—There is a similar question here, but I'm asking a slightly different question.)
According to the Nestle-Aland 28th Edition, John 5:18 reads (translation mine):
διὰ τοῦτο οὖν μᾶλλον ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀποκτεῖναι, ὅτι οὐ μόνον ἔλυεν τὸ σάββατον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πατέρα ἴδιον ἔλεγεν τὸν θεὸν ἴσον ἑαυτὸν ποιῶν τῷ θεῷ.
Now because of this the Jews wanted all the more to kill him, for he not only broke the Sabbath, but even called God his own Father, making himself equal to God.1
To me, this lacks any sort of 'said they' after 'he not only broke the Sabbath,' if we are to believe John is describing a false opinion of the Jews, instead of their reaction to a truth about Jesus which John himself holds to.
Take, for example, two verses prior (5:16), where John uses the exact same structure of something indubitably true and recorded as true in the text itself:2
καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐδίωκον οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι τὸν Ἰησοῦν, ὅτι ταῦτα ἐποίει ἐν σαββάτῳ.
And because of this the Jews persecuted Jesus: for these things he was doing on the Sabbath.
Assumption: I'm assuming no one will reject the fact that Jesus 'did these things on the Sabbath,' since John says He did (5:15).
Given the above assumption: what is missing/present —according to those who hold that John doesn't believe Jesus is equal to the Father— in the latter verse, that is not in the former? OR Are there other instances where John refers to the false opinion of the Jews in this way (i.e. giving no clear indication that what they percieved about Jesus was false)?
I hope the question is clear; if not, I can clarify.
As always: thanks in advance.
1 I chose 'even' over 'also' because of the preceding ου μονον .. αλλα. No other reason.. for those who are really picky.
2 We're calling him John; this isn't about the identity of the author at all.