Son of God
|The Son of God|
|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS|
In the Old Testament, the term Son of God was used in a number of ways. It was used to describe Adam, as well as to describe angelic beings, and also to describe a special king (Psalm 2). Later, during the inter-Testamental period, the time between the writing of the Old and New Testaments, the term Son of God developed a vague connection with the concept of Messiah, God's anointed one.
In the New Testament the title Son of God teaches about the nature of Jesus as well as his mission. In Luke 1 the messenger from God reveals to Mary that her son Jesus will rule Israel as the Son of God. In the Gospel of John the title is used to show that Jesus brings resurrection and eternal life through belief in him (see for example John 5, John 11 and John 19). Furthermore Jesus shows in Mark 12 through the parable of the vineyard that as the Son of God he knew his mission was to die.
Throughout the gospels, a picture is painted showing that some recognized Jesus as the Son of God, and other didn't. Jesus knew his identity as God's Son, calling God "Abba" (or Father) in Gestheme (Mark 14) and calling the Temple is Father's house at age 12 (Luke 2). His disciple Peter acknowledged it in Matthew16. Demons recognized it, his disciples recognized and the centurion at the Cross recognized it in Mark 15 and his friend Martha confesed it (John 16). Not everyone recognized it, in particular the Pharisees and religious leaders of the time did not acknowledge Jesu as the Son of God. The New Testament (in John 19, Matthew 18, Luke 22) shows that Jesus was in fact brought to trial and executed because of his claim to be the Son of God.
Jesus continued to be recognzed as the Son of God in the early church, and is still known as such by today's Christians. As God's son, Jesus is also understood to be God himself. Understanding Jesus to have this identity is one of the foundational doctrines of Christianity. How God can have a Son, and how Jesus can be God, and at the same time human, is part of the mystery of Christianity that no person can completely understand but is accepted by faith.