Now we come to the most contentious part of this contentious issue. We have seen that the Bible teaches Adam was the son of God, the people of Israel were the son of God, the son of David was the son of God and that Jesus Christ fulfills each of these so that he is the true and everlasting son of God. But there is another sense in which Jesus Christ is the Son of God that is completely different.
Jesus Christ has a relationship with God that is utterly unique. No other person shares this closeness of relationship. We have already seen in his baptism that God spoke these words, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Certainly this was in fulfillment of Psalm 2:7, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” But God doesn’t merely say that Jesus is his son, he says that he is his “beloved son.” This is a special relationship.
It is this unique relationship of love between Jesus Christ and God that makes his coming so remarkable. The most famous verse of the Bible is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The verses following say, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18). We truly see the love of God because he sent his only son. If Jesus Christ was merely a man like any other man God’s love is not so clearly seen. But he loves the world so much that he sends his son.
We see the same depth of love in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” The idea here is that God gave us the greatest thing (his son) and therefore will most certainly give us all lesser things. What this means is that in God’s eyes there is nothing greater that he could give to mankind than his son. Jesus Christ has an utterly unique closeness to God.
John put it this way, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). God is love and we know this because he sent his only Son to give us life.
As the son, Jesus Christ uniquely knows God. The Christ said in the Injil, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). Knowledge of God comes through the revelation of the son.
The son knows the Father uniquely because he uniquely shares his glory. As mentioned in a previous post, both Muslims and Christians call Jesus Christ the Word of God. And we both acknowledge that God can do anything he wants (after all, he is God!). In the Injil he reveals that he sent his word to the world. His word took flesh. “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The Word of God made flesh is the Son. And this son has glory. He has always had this glory (of course the word of God would be full of glory!). Jesus Christ prayed in John 17:1, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you . . .”
The key for us is that if we want to honor God we must honor the Son. For Jesus Christ says in the Injil, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:22-23).
It is the birth of the Son that we honor at Christmas. The angel Gabriel told Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:31-32). This Christmas let us honor the one who is uniquely the Son of God, the one miraculously born from a virgin. For in honoring him we honor the Father.
Part 1: Adam Is the Son of God
Part 2: The People of God (Israel) Are the Son of God
Part 3: The Son of David Is the Son of God
Part 4: Jesus Christ Is the Son of God
Part 5: Jesus Christ Is God’s Unique Son
Part 6: Believers Are Sons and Daughters of God