This is one of the largest and most important characteristic of Jesus; it is also one of the most offensive.
In Matthew 26:63, while on trial, Jesus is asked directly if he is the Christ, Son of God. He had remained completely silent up to this point. Jesus then responds with a very powerful statement. (Matthew 26:64) He then redirects their train of thought off him Jesus ‘of Nazareth’ but on to Daniel 7:13-14 prophecy about the son of man coming from heaven; and applying that it himself. He is Jesus ‘of God’ “like a son of man” coming from heaven. He connects the Son of God and the son of man into 1 person; himself (John 19:7). Deity and Humanity, together, in him.
Also read Jesus, One Like a son of man
This completely offends the high priests and they easily find him guilty of ‘blasphemy’. In reality it was not blasphemy because it is true but to a blind religious people, they refused to accept this as truth.
Why would claiming to be the son of God be so offensive?
He is not saying that he is a child of God but THE SON OF God himself. He claims DIRECT RELATION to GOD himself. He claims to have in common and share the same nature with God; his divine nature. Jesus is claiming the deity state of God because he is “THE Son OF God”. Hebrews 1:3 helps illuminate this.
Deeper than just Father Son
He is not saying that God came down, impregnated Mary, then Jesus was created and born. Let us not get confused with the flesh of family and a spiritual nature and presence. The ideas and word usage are important to dig deeper.
A first born Son in that culture would be the one who is called to be like the father and will inherit all of the fathers authority, power, and wealth. The father is head of the family but the first born son is his fathers direct representative to the community. There is only 1 first born son which makes this position and role unique.
Son of man is general in the sense that it is an individual that relates in nature to all mankind. Son of God is specific in that it is a single individual, 1st born, who relates to a single person, God. This Son is unique and is God’s manifestation in authority and nature.
Jesus IS the physical representation of God himself for us to know and understand. God came down and is Jesus (John 1:1, 14). He was not created but always was. The phyiscal-ness of Jesus is the Son of Man, the spiritual-ness of Jesus is the Son of God. Perfectly human and perfectly divine; in 1 person. This is known as the hypostaic union.
To be “of” something means that means to be the manifestation of that thing. Judas was “son of Simon” in the flesh (John 6:71) but he is also described of being the “son of perdition” (John 17:12). Perdition means destruction and waste. Thus; Judas is described as being the manifestation of destruction and waste. Jesus is the Son Of God; thus Jesus is the manifestation of God to us to see, understand, and know.
Describing Jesus as the son of man is referring to one part of his character. Describing Jesus as the Son of God is referring to another part of his character. Stating that Jesus is God is referring to all of his characteristics. The Son of God focuses on his divine nature and direct relation and manifestation of God himself. Thus understanding and believing that Jesus is the Son of God is essential to knowing him.
Also read Jesus Is God
Rejections, Heresies, and Confusion
This does NOT teach that God and Jesus are two different gods. Islam and Mormonism have an issue with this. The Quran even fails to understand this teaching (read here).
This does NOT teach that God and Jesus are not each unique and distinguished form each other. In other words that they are the same just at different phases. Oneness Pentecostalism has an issue here.
God is God the Father and God is Jesus, but Jesus and God the Father are not same in person but only in essence. There is ONE GOD in 3 unique persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Also read The Trinity
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