Lesson 2 - The Son of God

Who is Jesus Christ?  He made two claims about Himself.  He claimed to be the Son of God.  He also claimed to be God.

 

The First Claim: The Son of God

Some people, who probably should know better, say that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God.  On one occasion the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy, because He said, "I am the Son of God."  In fact they were so incensed that they were ready to stone Him.  John 10:36.

When Jesus was first arrested, and appeared before the Jewish leaders, He was asked, "Are you then the Son of God?"  He answered, "You rightly say that I am."  Luke 22:70.  Later the Jews cried out for Jesus to be crucified, saying to Pilate, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."  John 19:7.  What they said was true. 

Perhaps the best known verse in the Bible is John 3:16.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...."  Jesus spoke these words to Nicodemus, a religious leader in Israel.  In that verse and others that follow Jesus claimed to be the only begotten Son of God.

He Himself asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  If Jesus was not the Son of God, this was a good time to set the record straight.  But He replied, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 16:15-17.

When Jesus heard of the sickness of Lazarus, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."  John 11:4.  A few days later the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead.  He, the Son of God, was glorified through that event.

There isn't any doubt about it.  At both the baptism of Jesus and the transfiguration of Jesus, the Father spoke from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  Matthew 3:17; 17:5.  Remember that Jesus Christ Himself claimed to be the Son of God.

 

The Second Claim: God

The Lord had healed a man on the Sabbath.  Believing that Jesus had broken the Sabbath, the Jews sought to kill Him.  They became even more angry, when Jesus said, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."  They therefore accused Jesus of saying "that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God."  John 5:16-18. 

Did Jesus portray Himself as being equal with God?  He claimed that He did the works of God.  "...for whatever He (the Father) does, the Son also does in like manner."  John 5:19.  He claimed to be the giver of life.  "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will."  John 5:21.  It is safe to say that God will judge all men.  Listen to Jesus when He says, "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son."  John 5:22.  See also John 5:27.  God doesn't share His glory with anyone.  What about His honor?  "All should honor the Son just as they honor the Father."  John 5:23.  God is the only one who has life in Himself.  Jesus said, "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself."  John 5:26.  Jesus Christ claimed to be equal with God.

He also claimed to be God.  The Jews were proud to be descendants of Abraham, the father of the Hebrew nation.  They called Jesus a Samaritan, and said that He had a demon.  In the course of His dialogue with them, Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."  John 8:58.  In response to this remark the people took up stones to throw at Him.

By saying that He was I AM, He was claiming to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who had revealed Himself to Moses in the wilderness as "I AM WHO I AM."  See Exodus 3:13, 14.  The Jews understood this.  That's why they wanted to kill Him.

 

The Son Who is God

Confusing?  Is Jesus the Son of God, or is He God?  He is both.  He is the Son who is God.  Christians believe in one God.  The Bible does not teach that there are three Gods.  Just one God! 

Consider Isaiah 44:6, which says, "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.'" 

Who is doing the speaking in this verse?  The Lord, and His Redeemer.  There is only one God, but we have the Lord, and His Redeemer speaking.  Whenever you see Lord with small caps in the English Bible, the original Hebrew word is Jehovah.  (In contrast, Lord is Adonai, which means Master.)  Now another question.  Who is the Lord's Redeemer?  He is the Lord of hosts, who said, "I am the First and I am the Last."  He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.  The apostle John had a vision of Jesus Christ, the Son of man, who said, "Do not be afraid: I am the First and the Last.  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore."  Revelation 1:17, 18.

The Father is God.  The Son is God.  The Holy Spirit is God.  This teaching is called the Trinity, and is usually stated as follows: We believe in one God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, who eternally exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven He gave what is called the Great Commission to His disciples, saying, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Matthew 28:19.

Jesus Christ is unique.  He is not a man who became God.  He is God who became a man.  Truly God and truly man!  According to the gospel of John, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14. 

The Lord Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.  He also claimed to be God.  Was He crazy?  Was He deceived?  Was He lying?  Or was He telling the truth?  Christians believe that He is who He said He is.

There is a fellow in the Bible named Thomas, who had his doubts about Jesus.  One Sunday evening the resurrected Christ appeared to him, and showed him His scars.  Thomas fell at His feet, and said, "My Lord and my God!"  John 20:28.  The Lord didn't say, "Don't call me your Lord!  Don't call me your God!"  Instead He said, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."  John 20:29.  You also can believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and be blessed.

 

Lesson 3 - The Salvation of God

 
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