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"sons of God" and Jesus the Incarnate Son of God

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: Jesus is not God

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Dec 8, 2006 at 10:38

To Sohail

Thank you for quoting the Bible as you have done, and referring to passages where men are referred to as "gods," what does this mean? Do these references undercut Jesus reference to His own divinity?

In referring to the men who are referred to as "gods" or "sons of God," you mention Judges and Moses being referred to as "gods" or "like God," going on to quote Isaiah 44:6;1 Chronicles 17:20;Deuteronomy 32:39;and Isaiah 46:9 testifying to the "Oneness" of God, stated at Deuteronomy 6:4 as "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One" affirmed by Jesus, and recorded at Mark 12:28-30,

"One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the One and Only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."'

This is perfectly consistent with God's self-revelation of Himself as One God in three Persons, Who the Scriptures refer to as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus Himself being the Incarnate Son of God.

"Son of God" its Biblical use and meaning

The term "son of God" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible. As Creator, God is the "Father" of Adam and of all mankind Luke 3:38; Isaiah 64:8; Malachi 2:10; etc. However, a more specific "Father-son" relationship is achieved by the gracious choice of the Father and the faithful obedience and service of the son, not by creation and certainly not by procreation. In this sense, the following are some of those referred to as "son(s) of God" in the Bible:

1. The people chosen by God Exodus 4:22f.; Jeremiah 31:9,20; Hosea 11:1; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 3:26; Hebrews 2:10; Revelation 21:7

2. Heavenly beings Job 1:6

3. Kings and rulers II Samuel 7:14; Psalm 2:7; 82:6; 89:26f.

4. Pious, godly individuals Matthew 5:9; Luke 6:35

To equate the Sonship of Jesus with the sonship of the above mentioned beings, however, is to deny the plain truth of the Bible, and the very essence of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ is more than one of God's chosen people, more than one of His heavenly messengers, more than one who rules on God's behalf on earth, more than one who pleases God, although He is all of those also.

So what are we to make of the key verses in John chapter 10, where the Lord Jesus Christ applies Psalm 82:6 to Himself, in defence of His deity.

Let's look at this key passage in John 10:22-34

"It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon's Colonnade. The people surrounded Him and asked, ‘How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.'

Jesus replied, ‘I have already told you, and you don't believe Me. The proof is the work I do in My Father's name. But you don't believe Me because you are not My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me, for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father's hand. The Father and I are One.'

Once again the people picked up stones to kill Him. Jesus said, ‘At my Father's direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?'

They replied, ‘We're stoning You not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.'

Jesus replied, ‘It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, "I say, you are gods!"(referring to Psalm 82:6)

This passage is notable for what the Lord Jesus Christ did NOT say. If He wanted to avoid the charge of blasphemy by denying He was God, He could very easily have done so. But He did not, instead, Jesus said 'I and the Father are One'. with His opponents replying,

"We are stoning You... for blasphemy, because You, a mere man, claim to be God."

There are two ways that He could have defused this charge of blasphemy:

(1) By showing that he did not claim to be God; or

(2) By showing that it is not necessarily blasphemy to claim to be God.

Which did He do? He referred to Psalm 82:6

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods'? If He called them `gods,' to whom the word of God came - and the Scripture cannot be broken - what about the One Whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world?"

Surely the thrust of Jesus' reply is clear: if it's not blasphemy for part of their Law, Psalm 82:6 to call certain people 'gods', surely it is not blasphemy if applied to Himself.

The obvious corollary is this: Jesus is more worthy to be called 'god' than any of the addressees of Psalm 82:6 and He is very much greater? because He called Himself:

"the One Whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world"

putting it beyond doubt, by saying in the next sentence,

"I am God's Son"

If Jesus had wanted to avoid the charge of blasphemy by denying He was God, He could very easily have done so. But He did not. Rather, by quoting Psalm 82:6 He showed that the claim to be God was not in itself blasphemous.

He then showed how He did deserve the title, by describing Himself as "the One Whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world", "God's Son", and by saying "the Father is in Me, and I in the Father".

Jesus' opponents understood this claim clearly, so they tried to arrest Him anyway verse 39. They followed His reasoning alright, they just didn't believe the claims He made about Himself. Therefore they reasoned (correctly, if Jesus' claims were false), that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy.

In his usual very thorough style, Sam Shamoun examines the incident recorded in John 10:22-34, in some depth, and Sam's paper is at,


under the title,

"I Say: Ye Are Gods"

An Examination of Jesus' Use of Psalm 82:6 in Defense of his Deity

Scriptures where Jesus directly claims to be the Son of God

John 5:25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

John 10:36 what about the One Whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse Me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'?

John 11:4 When He heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."

John 17:1 After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You."

Mark 14:61-62 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Scriptures where Jesus indirectly claims to be the Son of God (or God)

Matthew 11:27 John 8:58-59

Scriptures where Jesus allows other to call him the Son of God (or God)

Matthew 4:3-7;16:15-17 John 1:49-50;11:25-27;20:28 Luke 3:21-22

Verses where the narrator of a gospel calls Jesus the Son of God (or God)

John 1:1;1:18 3:16-18;20:31

It couldn't be plainer Sohail, we have been given all the information needed to clearly see exactly Who the Lord Jesus Christ is, He is indeed, the living, loving, Word of God, the incarnate Son of God,

"and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 1:4

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

2 Timothy 2:15


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