Readings: Hosea 11:1-3, Luke 1:26-38, John 5:18, John 10:30-38, 1 John 5:5-13
Christ as the Son of God is one of the first things we learn when we hear the Gospel. It’s written right into John 3:16. But what is its significance?
The phrase “son of God” has a few different connotations in Scripture. In some Old Testament uses, it refers to spiritual beings—angels or demons. It is also a parent-child picture of God’s relationship with his beloved people, Israel. And in the surrounding cultures of the day, national rulers were often considered sons of the gods.
Each of these connotations would play a part in what Jesus’ words brought to the Jewish mind when He called Himself the “Son of God.” To their ears, His claim was one of both deity and royalty, while also suggesting a special role in the genealogy of Israel—the Son of sons among Israel, specially chosen by God. Their concern was not that Jesus claimed to be the physical fruit of a physical mating between God and woman (because He didn’t), but that He claimed to be “of God”—that is, like Him, or equal to Him. This was blasphemy.
For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He . . . was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
But it’s this equality with God that makes the sacrifice of the Christ valid and complete. John also writes, in his first epistle, that to deny Christ as the Son of God is to deny God Himself, and that our hope of eternal life hinges entirely on that identity.
God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
1 John 5:11b-12