Did Jesus Claim To Be The Son of God?

May 18th, 2015 by Sergio Gonzalez

Editor’s Note: Recently we received a question from one of our viewers asking if Jesus ever directly claimed to be the Son of God. Their understanding was that Jesus never claimed that title but, rather, others added it to him. We responded and felt, in case anyone else was curious about this issue, we would share it with you. What follows is Sergio’s response in its entirety.

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. As you allude to, the notion of Jesus as the son of God is questioned by some but – I personally believe – a close reading of the Gospels reveals that this was an essential aspect of Jesus’ identity for the Gospel writers. Now, one can (and in fact a great many people have) write a long book about this subject but I will try to keep my response as brief as I can with examples from several gospels.

Firstly, it would make sense to begin with the first gospel ever written, the Gospel of Mark. Interestingly, the very first words of this first-written gospel go as follows: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…” (Mark 1:1) So the very first thing that Mark does is inform us that the man he is about to write about is the son of God, and this fact is at the core of everything that takes place in his Gospel. In fact in the very next chapter of Mark, Jesus heals and, most importantly, forgives a paralytic. In response to that forgiveness, the crowd responds in shock, questioning “who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7) Clearly, Mark is laying out from the very beginning that this man is much more than just a man.

This notion of Jesus as the Son of God is also key to the gospel we are currently studying on Cross Connection: The Gospel of Luke. Like Mark, Luke also goes about establishing Jesus as the Son of God early on in his gospel, albeit in a subtler way. In chapter 3, Luke lays out a genealogy of Jesus. As you may know from watching CC, the function of a genealogy in that time (much as it is now) was to help define a person’s identity. They essentially laid out who a person was by highlighting who they came from. So when you read through Luke’s gospel, there are a great many interesting names there, but for our purposes, I’d like to point you towards the end of the genealogy, which highlights the source of where Jesus came from. Luke 3:37 ends with “…the son of Adam, the son of God.” In his genealogy, Luke introduces a concept that is at the crux of Christianity – and an idea that Paul would elaborate on much more – which is that Jesus is the new Adam; he is born of God but, unlike Adam, through whom “sin entered the world,” an “abundant provision of Grace” entered the world through this new Adam, the new Son of God: Jesus (Romans 5:12,17).

Finally, in no gospel is the notion of “Sonship” more important than the Gospel of John. John’s gospel is drenched with this theme of Jesus as the Son of God. You are most likely familiar with the opening of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word, of course, is a reference to Jesus and, in John’s prologue, he lays out the concept of Jesus’ intimate connection with God.

But all of these prior examples list what the gospel writers had to say about Jesus. What about (to FINALLY get to your question) Jesus himself? Did he ever directly claim from his own mouth that he was the Son of God? Well, according to the Gospel of John, yes, he did. As I mentioned before, John’s gospel has a great many references to Jesus as the Son of God but we can find a very direct one from Jesus himself in chapter 10. While I encourage you to re-read the entire chapter (and indeed the whole book of John!) for context, let’s focus on John 10:33. Jesus is in the temple courts and a group of his opponents pick up stones to stone him for blasphemy. Their reasoning is listed in this verse: “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” (John 10:33) There is much to unpack in Jesus’ response but let’s focus in on the end of verse 36: “Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?” Did you catch that? In this exchange we see that Jesus has been proclaiming so boldly to be the Son of God that many view it as blasphemy and seek to stone him. Yet Jesus proclaimed it anyway as this was essential to who he was and vital to his mission because, as he said earlier in verse 30: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)

For Jesus, and for the Gospel writers, this notion of Jesus as God’s son was so important because, in the person of this man, we are able to see God. We see his compassion and love for us, we see what he was willing to endure for us, and all he was willing to give up for us. As Jesus said: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) How much more then, should we seek to better see this man, the Son of God?
Thank you so much for your insightful question and I’ve very much enjoyed the opportunity to explore the Gospels in response to it. I hope this provides some insight into your question.

All the best and God bless.


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5 Responses to “Did Jesus Claim To Be The Son of God?”

  1. On May 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm Isoline Willaims responded with... #

    Thanks for doing a great job with the explanation.. I have learned quite a bit.. with the additional information provided .. I will pass on the information to others … it came out of a group discussion … I sincerely appreciate and thanks for the wonderful presentations on cc. I have been watching from the beginning.

    • On May 19, 2015 at 9:52 am Sergio Gonzalez responded with... #

      Thanks Isoline. We appreciate you being a part of our journey through the Gospels. It’s a very relevant and important question that you asked and we’re glad to grow in The Word with you. Blessings on you and yours!

  2. On May 19, 2015 at 3:54 am Sidney Dorsett responded with... #

    Of course He did. That’s what He told the disciples as he walked along the road to Emmaus. Even when He read the prophecy and said it was fulfilled in front of the audience attending church that Sabbath He was saying it. It’s being dishonest to claim otherwise. Moslems love to ask this. What’s it to them if they believe Mohammed was greater than Jesus? But Jesus demolished that when He said Mohammed was not as great as John the Baptist. They get angry when I say this. They want me to pick up my red lined Bible and show it in red. I’m one who believe it’s so obvious you don’t need to say it.

  3. On June 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm Marguerite Ujvary Taxner responded with... #

    Pride and happiness filled the hearts of the children of Izrael over the Holy City. But Jesus wept because He could see what others the multitude could not see., the fate of Jeruzalem by the Roman army about 40 years after. Jesus knew that He is the Son of God and all of His effort was to help people to understand the plan of salvation and to be saved.
    The first cleansing of the Temple happend in 28AD at the beginning of Jesus’s earthly ministry. The outer court of the Gentsiles was the place of unholy traffic. People sold things, made businesses. When Jesus first cleansed the Temple, it was His first national appearance and He declared by it that He has right to declare or administer the meaning of the Temple and declared His Mission as the Son of God, as the Messiah.
    At the second cleansing about 3 years later, at Passover actually He expressed that His claim was still valid. The Temple was God’s dwelling place among men. The Jews criticized Jesus for speaking of God as His Father. They believed or claimed that God is their Father, but they thought that Jesus is not His son, they thought that Jesus has an unqualified claim to be the Son of God, claim to divinity.
    They made the Temple the house of merchandize, market place. Jesus said”den of thieves”.
    Today we who seek our Father’s house a “house of prayer” have to be careful to avoid common thoughts, words and actions. We have to and will enter the Church with reverence, conscience of His Holy Spirit uplifted in prayer and praise.
    The leaders wanted evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and had right to rearrange the affairs of the Temple. Jesus challanged the leaders authority, they could not stand it and asked for sign. Jesus did not unswer.
    Jesus wanted the people to understand the relation of the literal Temple and Christ’s boddy.The Sanctuary and the Temple was made to be the earthly house or dwelling place of God. The Shekinah above the mercy seat is a glorious symbol of the presence of the Almighty God. John tried to explain that this divine glory lived, tabernakled in human flesh in Jesus Christ our Lord. After Paul brings the attention to those who constitute the spiritual building, the Spiritual Temple of God where the Holy Spirit of God wants to reside. Paul warns not to bring any harm to the Temple of God. Paul explains that the individual Christian is also the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. It is only possible by the Son of God dwelled among us in human flash to help us to see the Father, help us to understand how to be saved from our sins and how to get to Heaven.
    I praise God for Jesus and accept Him as my personal Savior. God bless you all!

  4. On December 7, 2016 at 8:38 pm cass responded with... #

    Hey Sergio and other cross connections watchers.
    I am thankful that this person has asked this question, as it has been on my mind. I recently watched a youtube video of a converted Muslim telling another Muslim (who struggle with the deity of Jesus) that the title ‘son of God’ was not as divine as the title ‘son of man’ back in Jesus’ time.
    I wonder if anyone else has heard of this before and if so would you be able to share what you know?

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