Son of God

Luke 2:41-50

Jesus, as a boy of twelve, once became separated from His family while they were in Jerusalem. His parents must have been incredibly anxious for His safety; but when they eventually found Him, it was in – from his point of view – the most obvious place, the precincts of the Temple.

“Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He was saying to them. (verses 49,50)

Their confusion is understandable: no Jew had ever spoken of God as his Father before. 2000 years later, we are so familiar with the idea that it is difficult for us to imagine how shocking it was to Jesus’ contemporaries. But Jesus’ own inner conviction was confirmed by God on two separate occasions (Luke 3:21,22; Luke 9:28-36).

The Son in the Old Testament (Psalm 2:7)

There are very few references to God as Father in the Old Testament – but there are a few. When He revealed Himself to Moses, He spoke of the nation of Israel as “My firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22) Yet no individual in the Old Testament addresses or claims God as his Father – not even Abraham or David! But when God gave David the great promise of an everlasting kingdom, He spoke of an unusually close relationship between Himself and the King: “I will be his father and he shall be My son.” (II Samuel 7:14). This promise is probably referred to in Psalm 2, where something more than just the kingdom of Israel in view: the kingdom of God’s Son will embrace all the nations of the world.

The Son and the prophets (Matthew 16:13-16)

Most people will allow Jesus the title of a “religious leader” or “great moral teacher.” “One of the prophets,” in other words. But Jesus certainly regarded Himself as more than just a prophet (Matthew 16:17). God had sent messengers (prophets) to His people before; but Jesus’ mission was more than that (Mark 12:1-12). The Son brings a greater revelation than any prophet, because the message is not just what He says but who He is: He doesn’t just tell us about God, but He actually is God. In His life (and death) is a complete revelation of God. This is why the Son came “last of all” (Mark 12:6). God has no more to say about Himself, because He has now come ‘in person’ (Luke 10:22; John 1:18). This is why Christians reject all “further revelations” (such as the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon). There will be no more prophets; in the Son we have a complete and final revelation of God (Hebrews 1:1-4).

Needless to say, this puts a greater responsibility onto us. If the Jews revered their prophets, how much more should we submit to God’s Son! “This is My Son… listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35)

What does ‘Son of God’ mean?

When the Biblical writers referred to God as ‘the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’, they were not thereby implying that there was another, female, deity somewhere who was His Mother. He did indeed have a human ‘mother’ as a result of the Incarnation, but He existed in eternity, long before His conception in Mary’s womb (e.g. John 17:5; Colossians 1:17).

So the term ‘Son of God’ is not an explanation of Christ’s origin – as if he were, like the Greek gods, the product of some celestial liaison. Rather, it is a description of his status: the single word ‘son’ encapsulates His sharing of God’s essential nature (i.e. his deity) (Colossians 2:9), His very close (indeed uniquely close) relationship of love and submission to God (e.g. John 3:34,35), and His position (‘second-in-command’, or ‘crown prince’) in the cosmological order of things (I Corinthians 15:24-28).

Why it matters (John 20:31)

The Son is identified so closely with the Father that ‘you can’t have one without the other’. Jesus said on more than one occasion that to give Him honour was to honour God (e.g. Mark 9:37; John 5:23). If Jesus is not the Son of God, how can He give us eternal life?

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5 Responses to Son of God

  1. You wrote “If Jesus is not the Son of God, how can He give us eternal life?” It is not because he is the son of God that he can give us eternal life, by which you probably mean an endless life in the future, because eternal it shall never be because we had a beginning by our birth.

    The endless life Jesus is able to give is because Jehovah, the only One God, accepted the ransom of His son. By his death Jesus provided salvation for the whole world. Those who accept Jesus as their Messiah and live up to his and his heavenly Father’s commandments shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God when it pleases Christ, because God has given him authority to decide for Him.

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    • Deborah says:

      First you say, “It is not because he is the son of God that he can give us eternal life.” Then you say that he is able to give us endless life because the only One God accepted the ransom of HIS SON.” Are you implying that someone other than God’s Son would have been able to supply the ransom?

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      • In case another human being would have only done god His Will, like Jesus did, then this would have been possible yes.

        Jesus did not do his will. In case he is God he would always have done his own will and than he would have been very schizophrenic (by praying and calling to himself even asking why he abandoned himself?) and telling several lies. But we do know that Jesus did not tell lies, because he did not sin. Also God does not tell lies and is an all-knowing God Who has no beginning, no end, can not be tempted and cannot die, though Jesus did not know everything (even did not know when he would return and really died.

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      • Deborah says:

        I find your comment a bit confusing. Did Jesus do God’s will, or didn’t he? Did he tell lies, or didn’t he?

        What I think you are saying is that an ordinary human being could have redeemed us if they managed to live a perfect life. But since living a perfect life is impossible for ordinary human beings, the condition could never be met. Hence the necessity for Jesus to be the Son of God.

        As far as being ‘schizophrenic’ is concerned, to say that Jesus is God does NOT mean that Jesus = God. We can’t say that God is Jesus; God is Father, Son AND Spirit. The Father is distinct from the Son. Jesus prayed to His Father, not to Himself. When asked about the date of His return, He never said “Only God knows”; He said “Only the Father knows.”

        And of course, God (as God) cannot be tempted and cannot eat, sleep or die. In order to do those things, the Son had to become human. And that is another very large subject: https://deborahsbiblestudies.wordpress.com/the-trinity/5-god-and-man/

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      • According to the Bible and us Jesus did not his own will and did not tell lies. But when you consider Jesus to be God he would always have done his will. He then would not always have told the truth and it would make the God of the Old Testament also telling lies, because in the Old Testament is written that God is an eternal all knowing Spirit (who has no bones, flesh, blood), cannot be seen by man or they would fall death, cannot be tempted, cannot sin, etc.. In the New Testament we do find that Jesus was born (had a beginning) and seen by many people who did not fall death. The opposite Jesus made people come to stand up out of the dead. After his baptism in the river Jordan where God said Jesus is His son, Jesus got his first temptations made known to us. In the Old testament is also written that the Elohim does not fear man and that death can do Him nothing. In the garden of Getshemane we hear that Jesus is afraid of man and even sweats blood, something God has not.

        When Jesus is God he would know everything, but Jesus had to learn everything and at the end of his life still did not know a lot of things. He even did not know when he would return. When he is the all-knowing God he would not have told the truth saying he did not know who would be seated next to him and also lied when he said it was not up to him to decide but to God.

        Would Jesus also have been so schizophrenic to tell others not to pray to him but to his heavenly Father and himself also praying to that Father, the Only One God, when he would be that God himself?

        When Jesus would be the All-knowing God he also would have “not told the truth” which we consider “to have told lies” on many occasions. Even to his closeted friends he would not have given their assurance of something he knew. (Like who would be sitting next to him and when he would return.)

        Mat 20:20-23 The Scriptures 1998+ (20) Then the mother of the sons of Zaḇdai came to Him with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. (21) And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that these two sons of mine might sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your reign.” (22) But יהושע answering, said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and to be immersed with the immersion that I am immersed with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” (23) And He said to them, “You shall indeed drink My cup, and you shall be immersed with the immersion that I am immersed with.1 But to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” Footnote:1See Mark 10:39 and Luke 12:50.

        Mar 10:40 The Scriptures 1998+ (40) but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

        Mat 25:34 The Scriptures 1998+ (34) “Then the Sovereign shall say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the reign prepared for you from the foundation of the world

        From Scriptures we do know God cannot be tempted nor does tell lies but Jesus was tempted more than once, could sin but did not, so that would also mean Jesus did not tell lies. Therefore when Jesus says he is the sent one from god, that he is the son of God, that he is the promised Messiah who is doing the works not of him but of his Father, Who is greater than him (Jesus) we should believe him (Jesus) and his heavenly Father (Jehovah God).

        1Co 8:6 The Scriptures 1998+ (6) for us there is one Elohim,1 the Father {Jehovah God}, from whom all came and for whom we live, and one Master יהושע {Jeshua}Messiah {the Christ}2, through whom all came and through whom we live. Footnote: 1Eph. 4:6, 1 Tim. 2:5, Mk. 12:32,34. 2 Jeshua = Jesus Christ
        Joh 17:1-4 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) יהושע said these words, and lifted up His eyes to the heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come. Esteem Your Son, so that Your Son also might esteem You, (2) as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give everlasting life to all whom You have given Him. (3) “And this is everlasting life, that they should know You, the only true Elohim, and יהושע Messiah whom You have sent. (4) “I have esteemed You on the earth, having accomplished the work You have given Me that I should do.

        1Ti 2:3-7 The Scriptures 1998+ (3) For this is good and acceptable before Elohim our Saviour, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one Elohim,1 and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the Man Messiah יהושע, Footnote: 11 Cor. 8:6, Eph. 4:6, Mk. 12:29-34. (6) who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be witnessed in its own seasons, (7) for which I was appointed a proclaimer and an emissary – I am speaking the truth in Messiah and not lying – a teacher of the gentiles in belief and truth.

        Joh 5:36-47 The Scriptures 1998+ (36) “But I have a greater witness than that of Yoḥanan, for the works that the Father gave Me to accomplish, the works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. (37) “And the Father who sent Me, He bore witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.1 Footnote: 1See 1:18. (38) “And you do not have His Word staying in you, because you do not believe Him whom He sent. (39) “You search the Scriptures, because you think you possess everlasting life in them. And these are the ones that bear witness of Me. (40) “But you do not desire to come to Me in order to possess life. (41) “I do not receive esteem from men, (42) but I know you, that you do not have the love of Elohim in you. (43) “I have come in My Father’s Name and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive.1 Footnote: 1“Another,” another one, was indeed a prophecy by יהושע of another one, probably the same one we read of in 2 Thess. 2:4. See Anti-Messiah in Explanatory Notes. (44) “How are you able to believe, when you are receiving esteem from one another, and the esteem that is from the only Elohim you do not seek? (45) “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Mosheh, in whom you have set your expectation. (46) “For if you believed Mosheh, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me. (47) “But if you do not believe his writings,1 how shall you believe My words?” Footnote: 1Lk. 9:33, Lk. 16:31, Mal. 4:4-5.

        Joh 17:1-26 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) יהושע said these words, and lifted up His eyes to the heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come. Esteem Your Son, so that Your Son also might esteem You, (2) as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give everlasting life to all whom You have given Him. (3) “And this is everlasting life, that they should know You, the only true Elohim, and יהושע Messiah whom You have sent. (4) “I have esteemed You on the earth, having accomplished the work You have given Me that I should do. (5) “And now, esteem Me with Yourself, Father, with the esteem which I had with You before the world was. (6) “I have revealed Your Name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have guarded Your Word.1 Footnote: 1See Ps. 138:2. (7) “Now they have come to know that all You gave to Me, is from You. (8) “Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have truly known that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. (9) “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. (10) “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been esteemed in them. (11) “And I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Set-apart Father, guard them in Your Name which You have given Me, so that they might be one,1 as We are. Footnote: 1See 10:30. (12) “When I was with them in the world, I was guarding them in Your Name which You have given Me, and I watched over them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be filled. (13) “And now I come to You. And I speak these words in the world, so that they have My joy completed in them. (14) “I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. (15) “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the wicked one. (16) “They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. (17) “Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word is truth.1 Footnote: 1See Ps. 119:142, 151. (18) “As You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. (19) “And for them I set Myself apart, so that they too might be set apart in truth. (20) “And I do not pray for these alone, but also for those believing in Me through their word, (21) so that they all might be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, so that they too might be one in Us, so that the world might believe that You have sent Me. (22) “And the esteem which You gave Me I have given them, so that they might be one as We are one, (23) “I in them, and You in Me, so that they might be perfected into one, so that the world knows that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (24) “Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me, might be with Me where I am, so that they see My esteem which You have given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (25) “O righteous Father, indeed the world did not know You, but I knew You, and these knew that You sent Me. (26) “And I have made Your Name known to them, and shall make it known,1 so that the love with which You loved Me might be in them, and I in them.” Footnote: 1See v. 6, Ps. 22:22, Heb. 2:12.

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