How can Jesus be the “Son of God”?

Let us first examine from the Bible (Tenach), who is called God’s Son.

The Proverbs of Solomon speak of the Son of God.

Proverbs 30:4

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

It is clear that the first part of the verse is speaking of God the Creator. The last part of the verse asks a very interesting question, “and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”

A Jewish commentator wrote that this verse is referring to Moses. Could Moses have gathered the wind in his fists, bound the waters in a garment, and established all the ends of the earth?

We conclude from Proverbs 30:

  • God the Creator has a Son

Israel is called God’s firstborn son

“…Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:” Exodus 4:22

The Children of Israel are called God’s sons

“…Ye are the sons of the living God.” Hosea 1:10

Solomon is called God’s son

I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” 2 Samuel 7:14

“…for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.” 1 Chronicles 28:6

However, the Messiah is called God’s begotten Son.

In Psalm 2, God’s Son is called the Messiah. We will see in the following verses the character and position of God’s Son.

Psalms 2

1. Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed (מְשִׁיחוֹ), saying,

3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son

(בְּנִי אַתָּה); this day have I begotten thee.

8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

11. Kiss the Son (נַשְּׁקוּ-בַר), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.

12. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

This Psalm begins with God and His Messiah whom the world rulers seek to oppose. God in heaven laughs at those who attempt to challenge their authority. The Messiah becomes King and will rule the nations from Jerusalem. God declares the decree that the Messiah is His begotten Son. The nations of the earth are commanded to submit to the rule of God and His Messiah. In this Psalm, those who put their trust in God’s Son, the Messiah, will be blessed and those who refuse will perish.

For centuries, Jewish sages have agreed that this passage is Messianic. However, recently it has been said that this passage is referring to King David perhaps to obscure the clear identity of the Messiah. In the Bible (Tenach), King David was never called God’s Son. This passage is demanding faith and subjection to God’s Son or face destruction, which could not be referring to King David as he never had that authority. Moreover, the nations were not given to King David as an inheritance as they are to the Messiah, God’s Son.

We can conclude from Psalm 2:

  • The Messiah is called God’s begotten Son
  • He will be King in Jerusalem
  • The Heathen (Gentiles) will be His inheritance
  • He will have absolute authority
  • Those who trust in God’s Son will be blessed and those who refuse will perish

The seventh verse of this Psalm says:

7. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

This verse corresponds to the Prophecy of Isaiah which speaks of a Son who will be born and called “Mighty God”.

Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller (פֶּלֶא יוֹעֵץ), The mighty God (אֵל גִּבּוֹר), The everlasting Father אֲבִי-עַד, The Prince of Peace(שַׂר-שָׁלוֹם) .

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The Hebrew word “El” in the Book of Isaiah always refers to “God”. “El Gibor” is Mighty God. For example: The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God (אֵל גִּבּוֹר).” Isaiah 10:21

This prophecy plainly tells us that a child will be born and will be called “Mighty God.”

This passage is clearly Messianic as it speaks of an everlasting kingdom of peace. The Messiah will be both a human son who will be born, yet called “Wonderful Counseller”, “Mighty God”, “Everlasting Father“ and “Prince of peace”. This Son will sit on the throne of David and reign over the world in everlasting peace.

Some commentators have opposed this clear Messianic passage and relegate these titles to King Hezekiah instead of justly attributing them to the Messiah. King Hezekiah subjected himself to the King of Assyria and cut off gold from the temple in order to pay him off (See II Kings 18) How could King Hezekiah legitimately be addressed by each of these Divine titles?

We can conclude from Isaiah 9:

  • A man child will be born
  • This human son will be called: “Mighty God” “Everlasting Father” “Prince of Peace”
  • He will sit on the throne of David
  • He will bring in an everlasting kingdom of peace

We have established from Psalm 2, Isaiah 9, and Proverbs 30:

  • The Messiah is called God’s begotten Son
  • He will be both human and divine: born as a man child, yet, He will be God’s begotten Son and eternal
  • This child will be called: “Mighty God” “Everlasting Father” “Prince of Peace”
  • He will sit on the throne of David as King in Jerusalem
  • He will bring in an everlasting kingdom of peace
  • The Heathen (Gentiles) will be His inheritance
  • He will have absolute authority
  • Those who trust in God’s Son will be blessed and those who don’t will perish

These passages speak of the first and second advent of the Messiah. He will be born as a man; “a Son given”, in His first coming. At His second coming He will establish a kingdom of everlasting peace and will have absolute authority.

Zechariah 12 speaks of the second advent of the Messiah when he comes to rule and reign.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Jesus of Nazareth was pierced on the cross in Jerusalem in 32 AD and will soon return to defend Jerusalem. If one reads the New Testament with an open heart, it is clear that Jesus fulfills these prophecies and many others.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”