Bible Society of South Africa

Son of God – 17 September 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”

That Jesus is the Son of God is non-negotiable for our understanding of religion and faith. The idea of sons of gods was not unheard of in biblical times. In the Assyrian and Sumerian religions, we find many gods and their sons. In Egypt, many pharaohs saw themselves as sons of Ra, the sun god, and even in Roman mythology we have examples like Hercules, son of Zeus.

Jesus as Son of God differs radically from all these mythologies. These so-called sons of gods were human beings and were never anything else but human beings, while Jesus as Son of God became incarnate at a definite point in history, but was still God.

Here at the waters of baptism at the Jordan something very important took place. When God spoke from heaven, it was to proclaim once and for all that this Jesus was not a mere prophet, nor a rabbi or a son of a god, but the true Son of the Living God, and God was pleased with him.

We find the roots in the Old Testament. In Psalm 2:7b, we read, “He said to me: ’You are my son; today I have become your father.’” Although this verse is often seen as directly applicable to Jesus, the psalm actually tells us about the accession to the throne of an ordinary king. In Acts, the psalm is attributed to David, but we do not find his name in the psalm itself. It is not very important to know who the poet is. What is very important is that this king knows that God has given sanction to his kingship by saying, “You are my son.”

This is exactly what happened there at the Jordan. By telling everybody present that Jesus was really His Son, God gave Jesus the authority to go forth with His mission. Jesus’ authority and power are so great that even the man from Gerasa who had many evil spirits screamed in fear, “Jesus Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me?” He is without doubt king above all powers, those that we can perceive, like earthly governments, and those that we cannot see. Above all, he conquered death itself.

Prayer: I am so glad that you are the King in my life as well. Please make me a truthful and obedient subject. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.12
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