In this series we're talking about the names and descriptive
phrases identifying Jesus. Thus far we've talked about Jesus
and the impact He has in our lives as the Word.
In this article, we talk about Jesus as the Son.
Only Begotten of God
The word "son" refers to one begotten of another.
For example, a father named John has a son named James.
So then, we could say that James is the son of John.
In this fashion, the phrase "Son of God" refers to Jesus
as the One begotten of God.
- "'For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son . . .'" (Jn. 3:16).
This phrase doesn't imply that Jesus is a created being
by God, and not divine, as some in the world believe.
John makes it abundantly clear that Jesus is eternal,
though He was begotten by God.
- "In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was
in the beginning with God" (Jn. 1:1-2).
- "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among
us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten
from the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14).
- "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten
God who is in the bosom of the Father, has explained
Him" (Jn. 1:18).
Jesus Was Begotten When He Became Flesh
Jesus is God (Jn. 1:1). He is eternal, as a member of the
Godhead (Col. 2:9).
He was begotten by God at the moment He became flesh (Jn.
1:14). But prior to this, He existed for eternity as God.
John further teaches that Jesus, as eternal deity, was
begotten when taking on flesh by using the phrase, "the
only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father"
Jesus, as the only begotten God, existed as God prior
to Mary's conception.
Therefore, Jesus became the "Son" at His birth upon earth,
though He had lived for eternity as God.
So then the name Emanuel, meaning God with us, is appropriately
used of Jesus (Mt. 1:23). He is eternal as God, and yet
born of flesh upon earth.
Jesus Emptied Himself Before Birth On Earth
Besides John, Paul also makes it clear that Jesus was divine
prior to His birth, having lived for eternity.
- "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in
Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the
form of God, did not regard equality with God
a thing to be grasped" (Phil. 2:5-6).
Before His birth upon earth, Jesus emptied Himself, so
that He could become flesh.
- ". . . did not regard equality with God a thing to
be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form
of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of
men" (Phil. 2:6-7).
This information reinforces the fact that Jesus is eternal,
and was begotten at His birth upon earth.
Jesus, The Son
As we've studied thus far, Jesus did not become a Son until
His birth upon earth.
After His birth, three common phrases are used to refer
to Jesus, relating to God begetting Him through Mary.
- The Son (Jn. 5;19).
- Son of God (Jn. 1:34).
- Son of Man (Jn. 1:51).
Jesus, Son of God
The phrase "Son of God" refers to the fact that God begat
Jesus, recognizing His divine nature while in the flesh,
as asserted in John 1:18.
Two notable occasions when God referred to Jesus as His
Son are His baptism, and the transfiguration.
- His Baptism: "and behold, a voice out of the
heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom
I am well-pleased'" (Matt. 3:17).
- The Transfiguration: "While he was still speaking,
a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice
out of the cloud said, 'This is My beloved Son,
with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him'" (Matt. 17:5).
One of the blessings we derive from Jesus as the Son of
God, is that we're beloved children of God, as members of
His church (Eph. 5:1, 23-24).
Jesus, Son of Man
The phrase "Son of Man" refers to the fact that Jesus was
born of Mary, recognizing His human nature while in the
flesh, as asserted in John 1:1-2, 14.
It was necessary for Jesus to come in the flesh to render
the devil powerless, free us from sin, and save us from
eternal damnation (Heb. 2:14-18; Lk. 19:10).
To be continued.