In John’s Gospel in particular, the terms Son/Father are used many times to speak of Jesus the Messiah’s unique relationship with God.
Jesus, the Messiah, is the Son of God. God says it and Jesus affirms it. As the Apostle John says “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. ” I must confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form. Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke declares, “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
Jesus’ own assertions and intimations indicate that references to Him as Son of God can be traced to Jesus Himself. At the center of Jesus’ identity in the Fourth Gospel is His divine Sonship. Jesus conceived of His divine Sonship as unique as indicated by such assertions “the Father and I are one” and the “Father is in Me and I in the Father”. Elsewhere, He frequently referred to God as “My Father”.
At Jesus’ baptism and transfiguration, God the Father identified Jesus as His Son, in passages reflecting Ps. 2:7. He was identified as Son of God by an angel prior to His birth, by Satan at His temptation, by John the Baptist, and by the centurion at the crucifixion. Several of His followers ascribed to Him this title in various contexts.
The term “Son of God” reveals Jesus’ divine Sonship and is closely associated with His royal position as Messiah. Gabriel told Mary that her Son would not only be called the Son of God but would also reign on the messianic (David’s) throne. The connection of Son of God with Jesus’ royal office is also found in the Gospel of John, in Paul’s letters, and in Luke’s writings.
Primarily, the title “Son of God” affirms Jesus’ deity evidenced by His person and His work. John emphasized Jesus’ personal relationship to the Father. Paul stressed the salvation that Jesus provided, and the author of Hebrews focused on Jesus’ priesthood. All of these are vitally related to His position as Son of God.
- John 3:35 (NASB) — 35 “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.
- Matthew 11:27 — 27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
- Matthew 24:36 — 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
- John 5:20–22 — 20 “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,
- Hebrews 1:1–2 — 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
- 1 John 1:3 — 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus the Messiah.
- 1 John 2:22–23 — 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
- 2 John 9 — 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of the Messiah, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.