Was Jesus the Son of God?
- 2005 16 May
I am a descendent of the Neville family. If you know very little—or nothing at all—of this noble line, please allow me to educate you, albeit briefly.
Richard Neville—the 16th Earl of Warwick—was known as “The Kingmaker” and lived in the 1400’s. He was considered the most powerful noble in England, and was the principal baronial figure in the Wars of the Roses. Two of his daughters married “quite well.” In fact one of them, Anne, married both the Prince of Wales and, after his death, Richard III.
I remember the day I learned of all this. My mother had purchased a “Neville’s Family History Book,” in which one of our members carefully traced our lineage from Richard to his modern “children.” Somewhere, in all those pages—filled with photographs and tiny writing, copies of old documents and tidbits of history—is a picture of three-year-old me.
I am of the Neville bloodline. Are you impressed? (And, can you see me smiling as I ask that?)
But To Be Of God
There is One who has claim to an even more royal bloodline. It goes beyond the royal kings of Israel, to the Jewish Patriarchs, to the first created human, and to God Himself. Within it is one of the greatest mysteries of time, a poor Jewish child born of poor Jewish parents, who is from the lineage of Adam and yet also his Creator.
His name was Yeshua bar Yosef. In the Greek and as we understand it: Jesus, the son of Joseph.
But, according to history—both biblical and secular—He was the Son of God, created inside His mother’s womb not as all other humans had been, but by a miracle of the Holy Spirit.
Man’s Claims vs. His Claims
I have heard it argued that Jesus never claimed to be God. While I know I’m going against some pretty scholarly folks, I don’t believe that’s true.
Others certainly made the claim about Him. According to Scripture, those who made such a bold statement were:
Satan (Matthew 4:3)
The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
The Demons (Matthew 8:29)
"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"
The Disciples (Matthew 14:33)
Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Mark (Mark 1:1)
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Gabriel (Luke 1:35)
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Nathanael (John 1:49)
Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Martha of Bethany (John 11:27)
"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, [ Or Messiah] the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
John the Beloved (John 20:31)
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
But, did Jesus Himself make such claims? Let’s take a look at a couple of passages, the first from Luke 22:66-71 and the second, John 5:24-27.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. "If you are the Christ," they said, "tell us."
Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."
They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?"
He replied, "You are right in saying I am."
Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."
Jesus was nothing if not quick with a reply, even in the face of conviction, sentencing, and death. In less than 24 hours, He has been betrayed, arrested, disowned by a man who vehemently claimed he never would, mocked and beaten. Dawn has now broken on the morning He will be crucified. He is under the scrutiny of the chief priests and teachers of the law. They are asking Him, pointblank, are you the Messiah?
The Messiah, or anointed one, had been expected since the time of King David. He would come to redeem His people and to save them from—what they believed—physical, religious, and governmental persecution. Through Him, Israel would return to the glory days of David and Solomon.
Jesus wasn’t the first to have the messianic claim appointed to Him, either by self or by others. Several men had preached and healed and started mini-revolutions. So the question of “Are you the Christ (Messiah)?” was not all that shocking.
Jesus answers almost in a riddle; neither yes nor no, but instead ties in the title “Son of Man,” expressing his position in Heaven.
The authorities are a bit befuddled. This man was claiming more than just Messiahship. He was claiming to be God’s Son. “Are you?” they ask. “Are you the Son of God?”
Jesus’ answer: I am.
Award-winning national speaker Eva Marie Everson is a recent graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary. Her work includes the upcoming Sex, Lies and the Media (Cook) and The Potluck Club (Baker/Revell) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.evamarieeverson.com.