Jesus the Son of God
Jesus the Son of God
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” John 19:7
While it is common today for us to claim to be a son of God, this phrase is what became the breaking point to the Jewish leaders. What THEY understood by the use of this phrase was Jesus making himself equal with God. You see this earlier in John’s gospel when Jesus claimed that God was His father: "But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:17-18). Then again accused Him of blasphemy for saying that he was the Son of God (10:36).
When the Jewish leaders had their mock trial of Jesus, this was the question that they asked: “Are you the son of God” (Matt. 26:63-66, Mark 14:61-64, Luke 22:70). When He answered yes, they accused him again of blasphemy (Matt. 26:63-66). After they crucified him they stood beneath the cross and taunted him saying "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God” (Matt. 27:42-43).
For a mere man to claim to be equal with God is blasphemy. It not only elevates man far above what he is but it is degrading unto God. The question however stands: was it true for Jesus? To this question the demons proclaimed Him the son of God. "And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ” (Luke 4:41). When Jesus walked on water and stilled the storm, the apostles responded by worshiping Him and saying, "Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matt. 14:33).
When He was baptized, God spoke from heaven declaring "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). God proclaimed this when Jesus was transfigured before the apostles on the mountain. While Jesus was still speaking to them, "a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matt. 17:5).
John had begun this gospel declaring "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Upon coming face to face with Jesus after the resurrection, Thomas proclaimed Him to be "My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
Then John concludes the purpose of his writing by stating: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30–31).
The problem is not that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God - He did. The problem is not that by doing this He made himself equal to God - He did. The question is: is it true? Believing this was the core purpose of John’s gospel. If it is true and we believe it, it is the way to eternal life. If it is NOT true and we believe it, we believe a blasphemous lie. Do you believe?