Was Jesus God?

This passage provides the initial fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecy, and explains why Jesus would be known as the Son of God.  As a Samaritan woman was to say,

Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” John 11:27

They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’ He replied, ‘You are right in saying I am.’ ” Luke 22:70

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31

The phrase ‘Son of God’ occurs forty times in the New Testament, and on each occasion it is referring to Jesus Christ.  It is recorded in the Psalms,

I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son ; today I have become your Father.”  Psalm 2:7

This passage is crucial in our understanding of the position of Jesus in God’s sight.  The Psalm was written by David, king of Israel approximately BC950, and is quoted three times in the New Testament.

  • We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers  he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ ”  Acts 13:32,33
  • For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ ? Or again, ‘I will be his Father, and he will be my Son’?”  Hebrews 1:5
  • So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ ” Hebrews 5:5

The remarkable link in each of these three passages is their uniform application to a specific occasion—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Now Jesus Christ was first referred to as God’s Son on an earlier occasion, namely, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3:16,17, Mark 1:9-11

But is it not recognised that Jesus has always been God’s Son?  Haven’t they each co-existed for eternity?  Why then do these passages indicate that the Father-Son relationship only really began at his baptism and were confirmed at his resurrection?

When we look at a new baby, we almost instinctively look at the child and see which side of the family has been represented where.“The baby’s got the eyes of her mother and the head-shape of her father…”

As the child grows up it may be evident, say, that they have their father’s brain…

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”  Luke 2:52

So it was to be expected with Jesus, that being the Son of God, he would inherit characteristics from his parentage.  Since God was his Father, there would be some characteristics that would stand out in his life.

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.  “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? … Where then did this man get all these things?”  Matthew 13:54,55,56

Jesus acknowledged that his ability to do what was beyond human understanding had been inherited from his Father.

All things have been committed to me by my Father.”  Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22

Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?   Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.  But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” John 10:36–38

When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.  The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”  John 8:28,29

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