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Who is Jesus according to Jesus?
Is Jesus the Son of God?

Who is Jesus according to Jesus?
Is Jesus the Son of God?

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By Editorial Staff

Jesus

Jesus is not the son of God in a literal sense

In the New Testament, Jesus is often described as “the son of God”. We read: “But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, ‘I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ ‘You have said so,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’” (Matthew 26:63-64)

We also read: “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:31-32)

However, does that mean that Jesus is “the son of God” in a literal sense?

In fact, this description is a metaphorical one. It is frequently repeated in the Bible in general and the New Testament in particular. We notice that many people are given this description.

For example, the angels are described as the sons of God in the New Testament. We read: “But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:35-36)

In the New Testament, the disciples are also described as “the sons of God” and it is stated that God is “their father” according to Jesus himself.

We read: “So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

In the New Testament, Jesus’ followers are also described as “the sons of God”. We read: “He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but that he should also gather together in one the sons of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11:51-52)

We also read: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)

We further read: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7)

Just as Jesus’ followers are described as “the sons of God”, they are also described as “the brothers of Jesus” in the New Testament. We read: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29)

We also read: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.’ And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.’ Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:10-17)

In the New Testament, peacemakers are also described as “the sons of God”. We read: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are also described as “the sons of God”. We read: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14)

In the Old Testament, the children of Israel are described as “the son of God”. We read: “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son.’” (Exodus 4:22)

Nations other than the children of Israel are also described as “the sons of God”. We read: “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” (Romans 9:26)

Thus, Jesus is not the only creature that is described in the New Testament as “the son of God” which confirms that this description is a metaphorical one. There are uncountable context clues in the New Testament which rule out Jesus’ being “the son of God” in a literal sense. The following are some of those clues:

Context Clues Ruling out Jesus’ Being the Son of God Literally

Son of David

Just as Jesus is described as “the son of God”, he is also described “the son of David”. Just as Jesus is not the son of David in a literal sense as it is his mother who was a descendant of David, he is similarly not the son of God in a literal sense.

We read: “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1)

We also read: “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:31-32)

Prophet of the Most High

While the New Testament prophesied Jesus and called it “the son of the Most High”, we observe that the New Testament itself quotes Zacharias as describing Jesus as “the prophet of the Most High” rather than “the son of the Most High”.

We read: “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him.” (Luke 1:76)

Human Inability

Jesus often expressed his human inability and need for God in the New Testament which negates being “the son of God” in a literal sense. Should God had a son, any such son would not have been such an unable being who admits to his inability. The son of God must be as omnipotent as his father. Otherwise, this being cannot be described as “the son of God”.

We read: “Jesus gave them this answer: ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’” (John 5:19)

Human Ignorance

Jesus often expressed his human ignorance in the New Testament and indicated that even when he had knowledge he derived such knowledge from God.

We read: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

We also read: “So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.’” (John 8:28)

Metaphorical Nativity Story

Nothing contained in Jesus’ nativity story cited in the New Testament which affirms Jesus’ sonship of God in a literal sense. As for “the Holy Spirit will come on you”, Mary is not the only person who is given this description in the New Testament. This is a popular description in the New Testament which does not imply that someone is the father or the son of someone else.

We read: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

We also read: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” (Acts 10:44)

We further read the following verses: “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.” (Acts 11:15)

“When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6)

As for calling Jesus ”’Immanuel’, which means (God with us)”, the New Testament states more than once that God was with several people without reference to Jesus, that is to say God may be with us without Jesus. Therefore, Immanuel’s interpretation as “God with us” does not mean that God’s company is exclusive to Jesus only. Rather, God is with His prophets and righteous servants every time and everywhere whether or not Jesus is there.

For example, the New Testament tells us that the angel informed Mary that “the Lord is with you” before conceiving Jesus, that is to say Mary was in God’s company before conceiving and giving birth to Jesus.

We read: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’” (Luke 1:28)

The New Testament also tells us that God was with His Prophet Joseph. We read: “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him.” (Acts 7-9)

As for Jesus’ description as “holy”, this description is not exclusive to Jesus in the New Testament. Rather, other persons are given the same description. In the New Testament, we read: “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23)

Metaphorical Language is a Commonplace

Jesus often used a metaphorical language in the New Testament which indicates that the metaphorical language is a commonplace in most of Jesus’ statements, including his being “the son of God”.

We read: “Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.’” (John 6:53)

How did Jesus Explain his Description as “the Son of God”?

Jesus made clear that the meaning of being “the son of God” is that he did such acts which were approved by God. He also indicated that just as Jews were called “gods” for the word of God came to them, he was also called “the son of God” because the word of God came to him and he did the acts of God.

We read:

But Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken– what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? 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.” (John 10:32-37)

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References:

1- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

2- biblehub.com

Read Also:

Is Jesus the Light of the World?

Is Jesus the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End or the First and the Last?

Is Jesus Life or Life-giver?

Is Jesus the Way and the Truth?

Is Jesus the Savior?

Is Jesus the Word of God?

Is Jesus the Prophet or Messenger of God?

Is Jesus in God or God in Jesus?

Are Jesus and God One?

Is Jesus the Servant and Slave of God?

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Who is Jesus according to Jesus?
Is Jesus the Son of God?

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Comments (2)

  • Karlos Leal Aizpuru

    Karlos Leal Aizpuru

    GALATIANS 1:6-10
    6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

    10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

    GALATIANS 2:14-19
    14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

    15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

    17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

    19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

    GALATIANS 3:15-20
    15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[i] meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

    19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
    21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

    GALATIANS 3:23-29 Children of GOD
    23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

    26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    GALATIANS 4:1-7
    4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[a] of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[b] 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

    May the Spirit of truth be with you
    Godbless.

  • Sadiq Tong

    Sadiq Tong

    “How can you say that we are wise and the law of God is with us, but behold the false pen of the scribes has made it into lie” Jeremiah 8v8. “For we know in part and prophesied in part but when that which is perfect comes, the imperfect will be kept aside” 1 corinthians 13v9-10. “For then I will change the language of the people into a pure language that they may call on the name of the lord to serve him with one accord” zephaniah 3v9. “for precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little. For with stammering lips and another new tongue, he will speak to this people” isaiah 28v10-11.

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