Son (of God)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)
Earlier this year, we discussed how Jesus’ preferred way to address Himself was the title Son of Man. It acknowledges both His divine nature and also His humanity. Here, in this title, the Apostle John is acknowledging Jesus’ divine nature only. Jesus is the Son of God, part of the Holy Trinity.
Jesus was not God’s Son in the traditional sense of the word son. Unlike Zeus in Greek mythology, who came to earth in human form and seduced women, producing children, God did not come to earth and lay with Mary to conceive a son. God and Jesus are not like a human father and human son. That is what makes Jesus unique – one and only. Jesus was conceived in Mary through the Holy Spirit. And Mary was not seduced! She willingly consented to be the mother of the Son of God.
As He testified to in His trial, Jesus is the Son of God. “Of God” as in “from God.” To be “of God” means to be of the same nature as God. Jesus came from God, because Jesus is also God! He is the physical manifestation of God and sits at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus testified to this at His trial, when He was charged to answer if He was the “Christ, the Son of God,” (Matthew 26:63-66). When Jesus did not deny the charge, He was accused of blasphemy.
Calling Jesus the Son of God, also allows us to understand the love that God had for Jesus. The love a parent has for their child is special. It is a love that cannot be fully understood unless you are a parent yourself. It is an unconditional, selfless love. A desire to see them live and be happy, even if it means sacrificing your own happiness.
So what does this mean for us? John 3:16 is one of the first verses memorized by children and new adult believers alike. It beautifully summarizes Jesus’ sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. And it acknowledges the divine nature of Jesus. But when was the last time you stopped and thought about Jesus as the Son of God? Sometimes, it seems we separate Jesus, the human man, from Jesus, the man sitting at God’s right hand. But they are the same! And that is Glorious!
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