Speaking Christian in our Lenten Journey
Titles of Jesus – Son of God
Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5, Matthew 27:54
Throughout Jesus ministry there were moments when He revealed himself as the Son of God yet implored his followers to say nothing about what they heard and had seen. Mary knew prior to His birth that she would be pregnant because of God and that the baby she would carry would change the world. Yet even in the moments prior to his first miracle at the wedding of Cana, Jesus implored her and said, my time has not yet come. But Mary knew that one day his time would come. One day he would be revealed as the Son of God and when this occurred he would die on a cross for the sake of all people.
What does ‘Son of God’ mean?
In a Jewish context this meant different things. Sometimes it meant Israel as a whole, sometimes to the king, and sometimes to heavenly beings. It was also used to refer to Jewish ‘holy men’ who were mystics and healers. All of these refer to somebody in an especially intimate relationship with God.
In the Roman context Son of God referred to the Roman emperor whose title appeared on coins and inscriptions throughout the empire. According to Roman spiritual theology, Augustus was the product of a divine conception conceived by Attia and Apollo. So when Jesus’ followers spoke of him as the “Son of God” they stated that he was intimately related to God and also the one challenging the claim that Caesar was also the son of God.
Jesus raised Lazarus from death (John 11) but prior to this he stated that “Lazarus’ sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Here, Jesus refers to himself as God’s Son for he knows that he will raise Lazarus to life so that people will know who he is.
When Jesus died there was an earthquake and many were terrified. The centurion exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
But we who believe in Jesus know him as the Son of God for he showed us how to live as his brothers and sisters, as children of our God. For it is through him that we are able to love others.
How do you understand “Son of God” as a name for Jesus?
Wonderful God of love, we thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus to be our Saviour. Help us to understand the relationship you have with him as God and trinity and help us to understand how we may know Him as the son of God who came to save us. Be with us we pray as we draw closer to Jesus and understand his purpose and the depths of his love for us. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
How do you see Jesus as the Son of God? Is it through the intimate prayer relationship he had with God? Through the voice of God declaring him as his beloved Son? Or through the miracles he did to reveal his gifts. Just how do you see Jesus?
Marcus J. Borg, Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power- and how they can be restored, Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2012.