Is Jesus God the Son? That is a question for which one will need a little background knowledge before you can understand the pointed issue. There is a debate within Christendom over what is called the doctrine of the trinity. The doctrine of the trinity is founded upon three essential premises. (1) There is only one God. (2) The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each God. (3) The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons. (If you think that there are three gods, you do not believe the doctrine of the trinity. The trinity requires that there is only one God). When people want to deny the doctrine of the trinity, they often end up changing the nature of who Jesus is.
Who is Jesus in this? Well, first of all, we know that Jesus is God (John 8:58/Exodus 3:14). We know that Jesus is the human image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:18), the exact representation of God’s being in human form (Hebrews 1:3). We know that Jesus is not God the Father (Luke 23:46) and we know that he is not God the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). So who is he? Is Jesus God the Son? Is God the Son even a biblical concept? Many want to say no. Many have alternative interpretations of what it means that Jesus is the Son.
There are various views which have emerged throughout the generations about who the Son is. The Arians want to say that the Son is not God, because Jesus is not God. The Oneness Pentecostals want to say that the Son is not God, but instead, is just a reference to the human nature of Jesus. When Jesus refers to himself as the Son, he is referring to his human nature, and when he refers to the Father, he is referring to his spiritual nature. Both of this views run into trouble when we realize that the Son is God.
God The Father Refers To The Son As God. The letter to the Hebrews seems to make a point to glorify Jesus over the angels and the prophets, and spell out as clearly as they can that he is deity. The author writes that Jesus is the “exact representation of God’s nature,” (1:3). But more remarkably, he goes on to cite Old Testament passages that refer to God, and apply them to the Son. In fact, he suggests that God the Father is referring to God the Son in two psalms.
Hebrews 1:8: But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” God the Father referred to the Son as God. He said that the Son’s throne will exist forever. (We see this theme again in John 8:35-36, which reads, “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”)
God the Father continues to attribute deity to the Son, arguing that Psalm 102:25 is referring to the Son. Hebrews 1:10: “And [to the Son, he says] “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth. And the heavens are the works of Your hands.” Of course, when a Jew reads this, he will recognize it as a psalm of praise to God. The author of Hebrews emphasizes this, giving glory to God the Son. Is Jesus God the Son? The Son existed long before the incarnation, he was and is God, was the God of whom the psalmists wrote and he will exist “forever and ever.”
The Son Is Worshipped. We know that it was customary in Judaism to bow before somebody who is of higher rank. So often when the people would bow before Jesus, it was not necessarily a form of worship in the sense that one worships a divine figure. This form of “worship” was not blasphemous. However, to worship a divine figure, who is not God, absolutely is blasphemous. Therefore, if the Son is worshipped, it is either blasphemy or true worship of God.
Mark 14:33: And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” The disciples worshipped Jesus as the divine figure, the Son of God. Thus, Jesus either failed to rebuke them, or he received their worship. Since all of the prophets and the angels always rebuked people for false worship (aside from Daniel, who probably did not do it because he would have been killed for rebuking a Pagan king), it is safe to assume that the Messiah, the Son of God would have rebuked them if he is a in a position to. Is Jesus God the Son? He received worship as the Son.
The Son Died On The Cross. Jesus Christ died on the cross, absorbing the wrath of God (Isaiah 53:10), the punishment for all of the sins of the world (1 John 2:2, John 3:16). You broke God’s law, and Jesus Christ stepped in and paid your fine. A common objection to which Muslims and Jews will mount is that one person cannot pay for somebody’s else’s crime. It is sort of like offering to pay the national debt by giving the president one dollar. It is just one of many. Well, they would be right, if Jesus was just a man.
But Jesus was God and God has an infinite bank account. If God dies on the cross, God can pay for the sins of the world. As Jesus died, he said, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46). So we know that God the Father did not die. It must have been the Son that died. Is Jesus God the Son? He must have been to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. God the Son must have died on the cross.
The Son Claimed Divine Prerogatives. John 16:15a: “All things that the Father has are Mine.” Suppose you walk into a church building for the first time as a visitor, and you hear the pastor speaking into the microphone, saying, “Everything that the Father has is mine.” What would you think? Blasphemy. He is claiming divine prerogatives. Everything belongs to God. Everything belongs to Jesus. Jesus filled the whole universe with himself (Ephesians 4:10). Therefore, Jesus is God.
Some may want to say that Jesus was speaking as the Father in this context. The problem is that Jesus made a distinction between himself and the Father in this verse. Everything that is the Father’s is mine. Is Jesus God the Son? He simultaneously made a distinction between himself and the Father, while making a divine prerogatives.
Is Jesus God The Son? The various positions that attempt to deny the deity of Christ, or deny the distinction of person between the Son and the Father have no answers to these passages. The Father refers to the Son as God. The Son is worshipped. The Son died on the cross. The Son claimed divine prerogatives.
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