Is Jesus Really the Son of God?
Is Jesus really the Son of God? All Christian belief is based on the fact that He is. But, if a non-believer were to question you on this fact, indeed to challenge you on it, could you respond in an intelligent manner? How do you know that Jesus is the Son of God? It is true that we must have faith that Jesus is God's Son. However, in Acts 1:3 we see that Jesus presented Himself to His apostles after He was resurrected and demonstrated that He was alive "by many infallible proofs." The New Testament is full of examples of these proofs. Let's take a look a what the Bible has to say in regards to the deity of Jesus.
As we look closely at the life and ministry of Jesus we can learn much about what attributes He had that demonstrate that He is God's Son. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (John 1:1,2) John clearly states at the start of his gospel that Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning. When God was in the process of creating the heavens and earth, all the plants and animals, and man, Jesus was with Him. One of the attributes of God is that He is eternally existent. In other words, having no beginning and no ending. In this passage we see that Jesus also has this attribute of being eternally existent. It is further demonstrated in this passage: "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (John 17:5) Jesus said of Himself that He was with the Father before the creation.
We also know that God the Father is without sin. So in order for Jesus to be truly God's Son, He too must be without sin. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 5:14) Jesus, during His earthly life and ministry, was tempted with the same temptations which we are. Yet He did not give in to the temptations. He did not allow Himself to sin. I have heard people speak on this subject and marvel that He was able to do this. I personally don't feel that the fact that Jesus was able to resist the temptations is something to marvel about. After all, He is God. To Him, the option to sin was simply not an option at all. There are many things about Jesus in which we should stand in awe. But if we believe that He is the Son of God, then we should not be surprised when He acts like the Son of God!
For Jesus to be the Son of God, we would indeed expect Him to be without sin. We would also expect Him to have authority. Jesus tells us of His authority: "Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.'" (Matthew 28:18) God has given His Son the authority to redeem the world for the sin which is so prevalent. By His freely giving Himself to die on the cross, He exercised that authority. By His resurrection we know that He also has the power to enforce that authority over the devil.
We see examples of His authority in other ways also. "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins' - He said to the paralytic, 'I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.'" (Mark 2:10,11) The NIV renders the word "power" as authority. So we see that Jesus demonstrated His authority by forgiving the paralytic of his sins. The authority to forgive sin is reserved for God, and He gave His Son this authority as well.
Jesus demonstrated His authority by calming the seas, casting out demons, turning water into wine, and raising the dead. He is still demonstrating His authority even today. Have you ever seen a person give himself or herself to Christ and truly marvel at the change that happened to them? I have. I have seen men, who could not complete a sentence without using the Lord's name as a curse or interject other profane words, become a Christian and completely change their vocabulary. I have seen others, who were just right down mean, accept Christ and become a kind and gentle person. And I have seen still others, who appeared as though they thought the whole world was against them, become a Christian and turn into a happy vibrant individual. This is just another way that we can know that Jesus is the Son of God.
The Bible tells us of some of the work that Jesus does, and we see that He is the Son of God through this work. "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;" (Hebrews 1:1,2) This passage tells us that it was through Jesus that God "made the worlds." Jesus was there when creation was going on and He had an active part in it. He is the "heir of all things," or that all things have been given to Him. This is further emphasized in Colossians, "For by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." (Colossians 1:16,17)
Another aspect which we shall consider is the fact that Jesus will participate in the punishing of those who do not follow His teachings. "...and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Thessalonians 1:7,8) We mentioned earlier that Jesus has the authority of all things on earth and in Heaven. Jesus will truly be exercising that authority on the day of judgement. See also: (Revelation 3:16, 19:11-21).
In the above passages we see that Jesus has been given authority and power by our Heavenly Father, and that He has and will exercise that authority. The Bible also tells us that Jesus has a "position" of authority. In our society, when someone has authority, we expect them to occupy a certain position. For example, a judge sets on the judge's bench, a CEO of a corporation has a big elaborate office, the President lives in the White House, and so forth. So, does Jesus also occupy a place or position of authority? "And Jesus said, 'I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'" (Mark 14:62) "But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55) Jesus is at the right hand of the Father today, a position of authority from which He makes intercession for you and I. Isn't it great to know that our Savior is there and ready to make intercession for us when we stumble in our daily Christian walk.
Jesus did not beat around the bush when talking about who He was. He made it very clear that He was the Son of God. Time after time He refers to the fact that He is God's Son or that He should be treated as such.
When Jesus performed His miracles in the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum the people rejected Him. They did not recognize Him as the Son of God. Jesus therefore reproached or condemned them for their disbelief. In the account of this in Matthew Jesus tells us specifically that all authority has been given to Him: "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father..." (Matthew 11:27a)
If indeed Jesus is the Son of God, and has the authority and power over all things, then we - the creation of God - should give honor and praise to Jesus. Jesus taught this to His disciples: "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." (John 5:23) John 3:16 tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to this earth so that those who believed in Him could have eternal life. For God to do this for us, and for us to not give Jesus the honor due Him would be a terrible thing.
In a court of law, if there are two witness who will confirm the same set of facts to be true, it is very difficult for the apposing attorneys to disprove their testimony. In the fifth chapter of John we have recorded for us not two, but four forms of witness concerning the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. In verses 31-35 we have the witness of John the Baptist, in verse 36 there is the witness of the works of Christ, in verses 37 and 38 we have the witness of the Father, and in verses 39 through 47 we have the witness of the Scriptures.
In like manner, the four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - also bear witness to the life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and deity of Jesus Christ.
"When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' And Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" (Matthew 16:13-16) Even today people will say that Jesus was someone other than the Son of God. Some say He was a good man, but not the Son of God. Others will say He was a prophet, a great teacher, or a great religious leader but reject Him as the Son of God. Still others say that He was an impostor, or even from Satan. If Jesus is really the Son of God (and He is), then we should follow His teachings and obey His gospel. So the important question for you is not who do others say that He is, but who do you say that Jesus is? I say that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
One of the most beautiful parts of the Bible, in my opinion, are the places where Jesus is called by various names. All these names point to or show that He is God's Son. Let me give you some examples of these beautiful names.
"And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:16)
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16)
"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 2:29)
"This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone." (Acts 4:11)
"But one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.'" (Revelation 5:5)
I am closing this article with a passage from the Old Testament. It does not speak about Jesus specifically, but I feel that the message is still applicable. "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
All scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Kingery is an author, preacher, teacher and founder of The Home Bible Study Institute.