Monday, May 10, 2021

The Meaning of “Son of God” to Jesus


I began this series by asking what Jesus Christ Son of God meant to Jesus and his Jewish followers. By the end of my previous email, we discovered that “Jesus Christ” meant Jesus the Anointed One.Conveying the meaning of those words requires a paragraph:


JesusThe One Anointed (called by God to preach the gospel

to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and

recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed,

and proclaim the year of favor of Yahweh) – Son of God.


Now let’s find out what “Son of God” meant to Jesus and his followers. Of all the things said about Jesus, the words “Son of God” create the most confusion and generate the most serious conflicts. Obviously, the words “son” and “god” are two words in every language that are so common people just assume they know what they mean.


A “son” is “a male offspring of something.”


In gentile cultures there were “many gods.”


Male gods had sex with goddesses and female humans who gave birth to sons.


The problems arose in Early Christian groups as Gentiles became members and were introduced to beliefs Jesus and his Jewish followers held about God, since their only God was “Yahweh.” Yahweh had no ancestors or descendants -- but He had “Sons.” How could that be? The answer is found in 2 Samuel 7:4, 12-17 and the Covenant of David.


“But it happened that night that the word of Yahweh came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go and tell My servant David . . . When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.


I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My loyalty shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.’ According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.”


That is the covenant Yahweh made with David. It established his throne forever. From Solomon forward Kings of Israel were sons of David and sons of God. David had many male descendants, but only those who became king were “Sons of God.” The next question is when did they become a “Son of God”? The answer is found in Psalm 2:1-2, 6-7. It was part of the Coronation Ceremony of the King.


Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,

against Yahweh and against His “Anointed One”?

Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” I will declare the decree:

Yahweh has said to me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten you.”


The Anointed One, King and Son of God are titles that were bestowed on the new king at the coronation ceremony. So, when did Jesus become the “Son of God”? Let’s take another look at Mark 1:9-11:


And immediately, coming up from the water, Jesus he saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”


After the “Spirit anointed Jesus” the voice from Heaven – God -- declared “You are My beloved Son.” Jesus became the Anointed One, Son of God, and King at his baptism! Now let’s update our understanding of the verse we began this study with -- “Jesus Christ Son of God.


Jesus, the Anointed One (called by God to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the year of favor of Yahweh), Son of God (a Son of David who is the King).


We still have one more word to explore before we will know what the words Jesus Christ Son of God meant to Jesus, his Jewish followers and other members of the Jewish culture. That word is “Jesus.” The answer will be in my next email. Please share and discuss these emails with others.



Jim Myers


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