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What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God?

Have you ever heard that Jesus is the Son of God? Jesus is not God’s Son in the same way that we see fathers and sons today. Jesus is not a result of God having a baby with Mary. That would be kind of weird…

The Bible says that the virgin Mary conceived Jesus after the angel Gabriel told her she was going to give birth to the Son of God through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). So Jesus is referred to as the Son of God because He is God incarnate (John 1:14). He is the second Person of the Trinity, and He is God—just as the Father is God as well as the Holy Spirit is God. One God, three distinct persons. Makes your mind explode a little, doesn't it? God is pretty amazing.

Jesus Commits Blasphemy (But Not Really)

After Jesus had been arrested, He had to stand trial before the Jewish leaders and the High Priest. The High Priest demanded that Jesus tell them if He was indeed the Son of God. And since Jesus only speaks the truth, He told them; “You have said so. 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 26:64).

The Jewish leaders and the High Priest did not take Jesus’ answer too kindly. In fact, they were furious and accused Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65). By Jesus saying He was the Son of God, He made Himself equal to God—even God Himself! If any other person would have said this, it would indeed be blasphemy. And because the Jewish leaders didn't believe Jesus was God incarnate, they wanted Him to suffer the punishment for blasphemy—death—and brought Jesus before Pontus Pilate (John 19:7).

When Jesus called Himself the Son of God, He meant that He was "of God"—that He was the exact representation of God in the flesh (John 14:16; Hebrews 1:3), but this was unthinkable to the Jewish leaders. Jesus' miracles and other shenanigans had already gotten them scared and angry (John 11:47-48), so this was a perfect opportunity to follow through with their already-conceived plot to kill Him (John 5:18).

Jesus never denied He was who He claimed—even knowing it would lead to His execution (Matthew 27:11-14).

Son of a Manifestation

Back in biblical times, to say someone was the "son of" either referred to their family line or something that specifically identified their life. For example, Judas Iscariot had once been referred to as the "son of Simon Iscariot" because that was his father's name (John 6:71). But after Judas betrayed Jesus to the authorities, he was described as the “son of perdition” (John 17:12). Perdition means destruction. Destruction and ruin are what identified Judas’ life after that point. Ultimately, Judas' life was a manifestation of perdition as shown by his betrayal of Jesus.

So when Jesus is referred to as the "Son of God," it is because His life and personhood is the manifestation of God in flesh (John 1:14). Thus, Jesus being the "Son of God" literally means that Jesus is God.

The reason why this matters so much is because it explains why only Jesus can save us from our sins. Only a sinless person can pay the penalty for our sin, and only Jesus could be a sinless person because He is God (John 3:16). Only by Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our sins could we be saved from Hell. God offers salvation to all people through His Son Jesus, and He wants all people to come to Him to be saved (2 Peter 3:9 ;1 Timothy 2:3-4).

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TL;DR

Referring to Jesus as the "Son of God" means that Jesus is God and that His life is a manifestation of God in the flesh (John 1:14). The Jewish leaders and the High Priest recognized that Jesus was calling Himself equal to God and accused Him of blasphemy (Matthew 26:63-64), but they didn't know that Jesus was truly the exact manifestation and representation of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus is God's Son, and the only one who can offer us salvation from the penalty for our sins (John 3:16).

By: Vivian Bricker

Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.

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