What does Son of God mean relative to Christ?
What does Son of God mean relative to Christ? The term Son of God is applied to Jesus Christ at His birth, during His ministry, and at His resurrection. The following explains the meaning of the term Son of God in all three situations.
Son of God Means God
John 10:31-36 defines the term “Son of God” for us. The passage tells us that some of the Jewish religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus by stoning Him to death.
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus answered them, . . . Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?” (NASB) John 10:31-36
The Jews wanted to stone Jesus because He had claimed to be God. They understood that Jesus claimed to be God. The Jews considered that to be blasphemy: so they wanted to kill Him. Then notice Jesus said they accused Him of blasphemy because He said, “I am the Son of God.” That is, the religious leaders and Jesus understood the title, Son of God, to mean God. They understood that Jesus had declared He was God. That is why they wanted to stone Him.
In John 8:24, 58, Jesus said He is the great I AM. Verse 59 says they wanted to stone Him again. Jesus used the same statement that Yahweh used in Exodus 3:14, where He said, “I AM WHO I AM,” and then “I AM.” Taken together all of these passages reveal that Son of God means God.
Mark 15:39 says that a Roman centurion said that Jesus looked like a man, but be believed that He was the Son of God. He believed this because of the miracles that surrounded Christ’s death on the cross. The centurion believed that God had come in human flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14).
Son of God in Matthew 4:3, 6
The truth that Son of God means God was reinforced during Satan’s temptation of Christ in Matthew 4:3, 6. Satan wanted tried to cause God to sin. In both verses Satan says to Christ, “If You are the Son of God,” then challenges Him to do something. Here is verse 6.
. . .“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” Matthew 4:6 (NASB)
This is a quote from Psalm 91:11. It reinforces the fact that Son of God means God and consequently a member of the Trinity.
Son of God in Romans 1:3-4
Romans 1:4 also reinforces the fact that Son of God means God since Jesus was resurrected from the dead. It says,
Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 1:3-4 (NASB)
Here “His Son” and Son of God are connected together, which then to “My Son” in Psalm 2:7. The term My Son refers to the eternal, priestly, and divine king who will rule the nations. Acts 13:30-34 also connects them all together. That is, Jesus Christ was deity.
Son of God Refers to the Messiah
When the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, he announced that the baby would be the Son of God.
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. (NASB) Luke 1:35
Gabriel’s statement does not mean that the Holy Spirit would be like a father to Jesus. Jesus was called the Son of God because the phrase explains He is the fulfillment of the prophecy in 2 Samuel 7:13-14, 16. Luke 1:32-33 refers to that promise.
Martha declared that Jesus was the Messiah in John 11:27 and then added He was the Son of God. That ties together the facts that He is God and the Messiah.
When the term Son of God is used for Jesus Christ, it means that He was and is God. Also, He is the promised Messiah who will reign for eternity (Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14-16).
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