When Jesus had given sufficient time for his nearest disciples to evaluate him and his ministry, he asks them in the privacy of Caesarea Philippi: “Who do you say, I am?” Peter, spokesman for them all, replies: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We have reviewed the evidence for Jesus as our Prophet, Priest and King. Why is Jesus’ divine Sonship such an important and strategic consideration? Let’s look at four substantial reasons.
JESUS’ SONSHIP VALIDATES GOD’S WORD The Biblical evidence for His unique Sonship is not flimsy. We have the testimony of the prophet Isaiah (9:6); the psalmist (9:2); an angel (Lk. 1:32) and the apostles. John writes his Gospel specifically that we might believe that ‘Jesus is the Son of God’ (Jn. 20:21). At Jesus’ baptism by John, God the Father proclaims: “You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Lk. 3:22). Jesus’ Sonship is central to the Bible’s understanding of who Jesus is.
JESUS’ SONSHIP EXPLAIN HIS CLAIMS ABOUT HIMSELF There is a paradox between Jesus’ humility in his deeds and his claims about himself. It is only when we accept his divine Sonship that we can understand the immense claims in the “I am” sayings of John’s Gospel, or the insistence that “no man comes to the Father but by me”. He equates himself with the omnipotent Creator when he says: “Trust in God, trust also in me” (Jn. 14:1,6).
JESUS SONSHIP MAGNIFIES HIS ATONEMENT “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). It is the only-begotten who is crucified. This is the incredible cost of the price God was prepared to pay to set us free. If Jesus were only a great prophet, a wonderful priest, or a majestic King, but not the un-created, only-begotten Son of God, co-equal with the Father and Holy Spirit, we have no “full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.” (Book of Common Prayer)
JESUS’ SONSHIP FOUNDS THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH Jesus affirms Peter’s declaration “You are the Son of the living God” by pointing out that this could only have been revealed to him by the Father. He then promises to build his church on the sure foundation of Peter rooted in his awareness of the Sonship of Christ, an apostolic and prophetic witness to ‘Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone’ (Eph. 2:20).
If Jesus were not the Son of God then our Bible would be untrustworthy, Jesus’ claims about himself unintelligible, the atonement defective and the Church’s foundation insecure.
For reflection: Jesus, because He is the One and Only eternal Son, makes a way for all of us who have “received him, who have believed in his name” to become children of God (Jn. 1:12). Such a privilege. Such a responsibility. Ask Him to make you more like Him today (2 Cor. 3:18).