The Messiah, The Son of God?

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  In Matthew 16, Jesus has a very important conversation with His followers:

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” 

17 And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven."

  "Son of Man" was the divine title Jesus used most often for Himself, but here we see Him accepting another divine title, "Son of the living God." Nowhere in the entire New Testament do we find Jews contesting this claim, and this because the concept of God having a divine Son was not foreign to them. We find it confirmed in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible which Christians call the Old Testament. The Jews knew God had a Son.

  The man "after God's own heart," King David wrote:

11 "Serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling. 

12  Pay homage to the Son or He will be angry and you will perish in your rebellion, for His anger may ignite at any moment. All those who take refuge in Him are happy." Psalm 2

  In turn, one of the wisest men who ever lived, David's son King Solomon penned these words: 

 4 "Who has gone up to heaven and come down?

     Who has gathered the wind in His hands?
     Who has bound up the waters in a cloak?
     Who has established all the ends of the earth?
     What is His name, 
     and what is the name of His Son—
     if you know?" Proverbs 30

  While how the Son would actually become manifest was not at all clear to the Jews, they knew Messiah was coming. And when Jesus came teaching Who He was, some began to better comprehend the literal nature of Isaiah's prophecy: Jesus was indeed "God with us, Immanuel." 

  Jesus affirms for us that He was precisely that Son spoken of by Solomon in John 3 (italics mine. See also John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1):

13 "No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man." 

  While Revelation 6 reveals that Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the Son of Whom David had spoken:

16 And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 

17 because the great day of Their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?” 

  Then along comes Muhammad six centuries later directly contradicting almost 2 millennia of Biblical testimony, not just from Jesus Himself, but from the Jewish Tanakh itself. While claiming to be following in the footsteps of all the Biblical prophets, Muhammad completely rejected Jesus as the Son of God as well as all of the testimony of the prophets regarding the Messiah. 

  We find this in Sura 9:30 of the Quran:  
  "The Jews call Ezra (Uzair in the Arabic) a son of God, and the Christians call the Christ a son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. May Allah destroy them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!" Quran 9:30 

  There are a few problems with the above. Firstly, there is nothing in all of Jewish history to support Muhammad's claim that Jews did, in fact, call the prophet Ezra "a son of God." This is a historical error on Muhammad's part. Or rather, on Allah's part, since Muslims believe that all of the Quran was simply dictated to Muhammad by the "angel Jibril" who said a god named Allah had sent him. 

  Secondly, Jesus is not "a son of God." He is the Son of God, Who existed in eternity with the Father and the Spirit. "Son of God" is a divine title which the Word of God, Jesus, has held from eternity. Jesus was not born into the position of "the Son of God." He was not created and then named "the Son of God." Rather, the Word has always eternally existed as the Son. 

  Thirdly, as we have already discussed above, the concept of God having a divine Son (not a biological one) is not only seen in the New Testament, it is also in the Old Testament. 

  But it is obvious that Muhammad never read the Bible and that he was only vaguely familiar with its contents. Otherwise, he would have known about the clear testimony of the Scriptures on the matter. Making things even worse, Muhammad teaches Muslims to accept Jesus as Messiah, though he gave them no idea what a messiah is, or what He was to do.    

  This puts them in a particularly difficult position because of what the Bible has to say about Yeshua ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah. Let me show you why.

  In Matthew 26, Jesus is on trial before the Sanhedrin and under interrogation by the high priest:
63 "Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”

64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 

  The high priest very specifically challenges Jesus to acknowledge whether He is "the Messiah, the Son of God."

  And Jesus' response is, basically, yes, I am God. But there is more.

  In Luke 4, Jesus demonstrates God powers by casting demons out of people: 

41 Also, demons were coming out of many, shouting and saying, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Messiah. 

  Demons recognize the Son of God but, as this is early in His ministry,  Jesus stops them from announcing to all that He is also the Messiah. But there's more.

  In John 11, Jesus is about to demonstrate God powers again by raising Lazarus from the dead but before that, He speaks to Martha and tells her,

25 “... I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 

26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?” 

  And she responds with...

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”

  Again, Jesus has been recognized not just as Messiah, but also as the Son of God. After which He raises Lazarus from the dead to prove His divinity. But there's more.

  In John 20, John the Beloved has just related the story of Jesus appearance to His disciples after His death, as well as the encounter which followed between "Doubting Thomas" and the resurrected Lord Jesus at which Thomas declares clearly and unequivocally Who Jesus is:

28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

After which story John appends this:

31 "But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name."

  Again and again in the Bible, not only is Jesus called Messiah, but He is also recognized as the Son of God. Jesus always accepted the recognition of His divine Sonship in His discussions with His followers. 

  But as we saw in our first passage from Matthew in which Jesus asks them Who they think He is, He went on to explain that Peter had not come upon this vital truth by following popular opinion, or through his own spiritual acumen. Rather it had been revealed to him by YHWH God Himself. 

  This remains true today. As Jesus said in John 6,

44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day." 

  The spiritual revelation that Jesus is God is a gift from God, but it is a gift that is given freely to all. 

  If you don't know Jesus as your Messiah, Son of God, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. As Matthew also records for us, Jesus calls out to you, 

  “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

  Jesus will do it because that's what Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God, came to earth to do!

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  See also:

  'Sons by the Tons' or No Sons at All? 


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