is unique: he is the only person ever to have both God as his
father and a human mother. He is both “Son of God”
and the “Son of Man”.
God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary that she would have
a child. She became pregnant with Jesus without having had
intercourse with a man. The child was conceived in her womb
by God’s power, the Holy Spirit, and so the child was
of God and Mary’s son.
1. Why was it important that Mary was a virgin?
2. How would Mary have felt as she explained to her friends
and family that she was pregnant? Do you think they
would have believed her?
3. Find an Old Testament prophecy about the birth of a son
to a virgin. Is the prophecy about the birth of Jesus?
4. What does the name Jesus mean? [Hint: see Matthew
5. What was the throne of David (v32)? What Old Testament
promise was Gabriel referring to?
6. Many people think that Jesus existed in some way before
he was conceived. How would you answer this claim?
Afterwards, Mary married her fiancẻ Joseph and he became
step-father of Jesus. Mary had other children after Jesus
who were his half-brothers and half-sisters. Matthew 12:46–47; 13:55–56
Son of God
All believers are children of God in a sense. John 1:12; Ephesians 1:5 We have been
adopted into God’s family, but Jesus is God’s
son. When Jesus was baptised, God said “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”. John 3:16,
Like any son, Jesus inherited the characteristics of his father.
He showed us what his father is like. Therefore he could say “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”.
John 14:9 So although we are unable to see God himself, we can learn what he is like by studying Jesus his son.
The Jews misunderstood Jesus’ claim to be Son of God. They thought that meant he was claiming to be equal with God. In
fact, his claim made them so angry they wanted to kill him. In John’s gospel, we read
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
But Jesus corrected their misunderstanding in his reply: See also John 10:31–36
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19)
Jesus was not equal with God. He said “the Father is greater than I” and explained many times that he was subject to his father. John 14:28, John 5:30; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10
Jesus also said “I and the Father are one”. John 10:30 They were not the same person, but one in mind and purpose. Later Jesus prayed that we should be one with God in this way too. John 17:20–22
Son of God:
|Psalm 2:7; Matthew 3:17; 8:29; 14:33; 16:16; 17:5; 26:63–64; 27:54; Mark 1:1;
3:11; 9:7; 15:39; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; John 1:34,49; 5:18–19; 10:31–36; 11:27; 14:9;
19:7; 20:31; Acts 9:20; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 1:5; 3:6; 4:14; 5:5–8; 1 John 4:15; 5:5.
Not equal with God:
|John 5:30; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10,28.
One with God:
|John 10:30; 17:20–22.
Son of man:
|Matthew 16:13,27–28; Mark 2:28; Luke 22:69; John 9:35–37; Philippians 2:7–8;
Hebrews 2:14; 4:15; 5:2,8–9; Revelation 1:13–14.
Always part of God’s plan:
|John 17:5; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8.
Son of man
Jesus’ had a human mother and was himself a human being.
To emphasise this, he often called himself the “Son
He experienced all the normal human weaknesses. At times
he was weary and needed rest. John 4:6; 11:35 He experienced grief when
Lazarus died. Mark 3:5 He was angry to see injustice and a lack of
compassion. When he faced his own death, he said “Now
heart is troubled” and he asked God to save him from
to go through with his death on the cross. John 12:27
He also experienced all the normal human temptations.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been
tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without
So when we face temptation, we can be confident that Jesus
understands because he also faced temptation. The remarkable
thing about Jesus is that he did not succumb to temptation
like the rest of us do. He lived a perfect, sinless life.
Jesus had to make a conscious, personal effort to be righteous.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the
eternal salvation for all who obey him. (Hebrews 5:8–9)
also 1 Peter
He was not forced to be sinless, but lived a perfect life
love and faithful obedience. Although God’s own son,
. . . made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a
bondservant . . . he humbled himself and became obedient
to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
(Philippians 2:7–8 NKJV)
Jesus was the most important part of God’s work. God
had Jesus in mind, but Jesus did not exist until he was
conceived. Peter wrote
For he was foreknown before the foundation of the world,
but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.
(1 Peter 1:20; NASB)
The Bible speaks of Jesus as part of God’s original
plan for the
earth. Revelation 13:8 For example, Revelation describes Jesus as “the
that was slain from the creation of the world”. This
that God had Jesus’ death in mind before he made the
Similarly, Jesus said
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory
I had with you before the world began. (John 17:5)
In other words, it was time for Jesus to receive the glory
God had intended for his son from the very beginning.
Jesus, as the central figure in God’s purpose, is spoken
existing from the beginning in God’s mind and plan,
physically he did not do so. Similarly, Paul says that God’s
“grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning
of time”. Of course, we did not physically exist then, except in the mind of God.
2 Timothy 1:9. See
also Ephesians 1:4–5
Jesus was in God’s plan from the beginning, although
not exist until the Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive. He
is both the son of God and the son of a human being. He
inherited many characteristics from his father and he shows
us what God is like. He also inherited human weaknesses and
temptations, but he never sinned.
1. In which of the following ways was Jesus different from
(a) He never sinned.
(b) He could never have sinned.
(c) He was God’s own begotten son.
(d) He was forced to be righteous by God.
(e) God helped him to be righteous.
2. In which of the following ways was Jesus like us?
(a) He had all of our temptations and human experiences.
(b) He sinned while a young child.
(c) He had human nature.
3. Read John 1:1–18.
(a) How do you understand verse 1?
(b) How was Jesus “the Word” of God (v14)?
(c) How did Jesus make his father known (v18)?
4. Read Colossians 1:15–18. Does this passage suggest
Jesus created the earth? If not, what does it mean?
5. What did Jesus mean when he said “Before Abraham
born, I am” (John 8:58)?
1. Find some Old Testament passages which prophesy that
God would have a son.
2. In Luke 3:38, Adam is called the “son of God”,
is called God’s “only begotten son”.
(a) In what way was Adam the son of God, and how was
that different from Jesus?
(b) Read 1 Corinthians 15:20–23,42–50 and Romans
5:12–21. What are the similarities and differences
between Adam and Jesus?
3. When Jesus faced temptation, how did he deal with it?
For example, consider his temptations in the wilderness
(Matthew 4:1–11), his temptations in Gethsemane before
he died (Matthew 26:36–46), and his temptation to become
king immediately (John 6:15). What can we learn
from this to help us deal with our own temptations?
• BB Studies 7.2, 7.4, 8.1–8.4.
• The Christadelphians: what they believe and preach
Harry Tennant (published by The Christadelphian, 1986),
Chapters 11 and 12. 25 pages.
• Balancing the book, Chapter 13, by Len Richardson
by the author, 1990). 5 pages.
30. Old Testament prophecies of Jesus
31. Jesus as Messiah
33. The relationship of God with Jesus