only son who was perfectly faithful and obedient—exactly
fulfilling all his father’s wishes and clearly reffecting
his father’s love for the world. In this way the Bible
presents God’s only begotten son, Jesus. The relationship
between God and Jesus is that of a loving and devoted father
with his perfectly obedient son. This relationship is shown
as the greatest relationship—a perfect example for us
When Jesus was about 30 years old, he was ready to embark
on the mission his father had planned for him. He was to become
the preacher who changed the whole world, and all his work
had been laid out before him by God—to fulfil all righteousness.
Jesus was not baptised for repentance or forgiveness as we
are, but as part of showing obedience and his love for his
father. God showed his feelings for his son in the words spoken
from heaven: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him
I am well pleased” A loving father praising his obedient
son for all to hear.
1. Why was God so pleased when his son
2. This was not the first time that God had spoken about
people being his children (see Isaiah 45:11). In what
way was God’s relationship with Jesus different from
relationship with others he had spoken of as his children?
3. Soon after Jesus’ baptism, John the Baptist spoke
him as the lamb of God (John 1:29,36). What does this
description show us about the relationship between God
God’s beloved son
On several occasions during the life of Jesus, God spoke of
him as his beloved son. After announcing his birth to shepherds
and wise men, God’s love for
Jesus was shown in the early warning
given to Joseph to allow the family to escape from Herod
into Egypt (Matthew 2:13–18).
See Chapter 32. Jesus: Son of God and Son of Man
On their return to Israel, God directed the family to Nazareth where Jesus could grow up in safety. As Jesus grew, he became even more pleasing to God. He grew in wisdom; he grew in love for his father. For him, it was natural (at 12 years old) to speak of the temple in Jerusalem as “his Father’s house”. It was natural for him to want to be there spending time with his father. All children grow and learn and Jesus learned that his father was also his God and must be obeyed. We know very little of this time in Jesus’ life, but we are left with the simple message that he “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men”.
Jesus’ references to God and their relationship
||Mt 27:46 (2x); Rev 3:12 (4x)
|My God and your God
||Matt 16:17; 18:19; Luke 2:49
|The Father loves the Son
||John 3:35; 5:20; 10:17
|The Father sent me
||Luke 4:43; John 5:37; 6:57; 8:42; 10:36; 12:49; 17:21,25; 20:21
|The Son can do only what he sees his Father doing
|My Father is greater than I
|I live because of the Father
|I and the Father are one
|All things have been committed to me by my Father
|To sit at my right or left is not for me to grant [but for my Father]
|Not my will but yours [God’s] be done
Learning obedience through suffering
Through his time of witness, with its joys and suffering,
Jesus learned how much was required of him to obey his father.
Hebrews 5:8 His frequent references to God show his understanding of his
position before God. He spoke of himself as sent by God; unable
to do anything without God; his judgement was God’s
judgement. He said that his father was greater than he was.
As a servant of God, he had a job to do and he did it.
At the transfiguration and later in Gethsemane, God was very
close to his son. In very special ways, he showed his willingness
to help Jesus to face with courage the terrible suffering
of dying on a cross. Sadly, because of the sin of mankind,
there could be no other way—Jesus must die for the world.
The duty of Jesus as a beloved son was to obey his father
to the end and to learn obedience by the things he suffered.
|Almost all churches teach that Jesus and his Father are both part of “the godhead” along with the Holy Spirit, three persons in one. The Athanasian Creed is a widely accepted statement of this doctrine produced in about AD 500. It states that Jesus, his Father and the Holy Spirit are all “co-equal”, “co-eternal”, “uncreated”, “Almighty” and “God”. These ideas are not found in Scripture. Jesus never claimed to be co-equal with God; he consistently said “My Father is greater than I” (e.g. John 14:28). He even calls him “my God” (John 20:17; Revelation 3:12). Nor does the Bible teach that Jesus is co-eternal with God or uncreated; he began life as a baby on earth whereas his Father has always existed.
Differences between God and Jesus
There are a number of obvious differences between God and Jesus:
|God cannot be tempted
||Jesus was “tempted in every way just as we are”
|God cannot die
(1 Timothy 6:16)
(1 Corinthians 15:3–4)
|God knows everything
(1 John 3:20)
|God has always been exalted
(Psa 92:8; Dan 4:34)
||God exalted Jesus
(Acts 5:31; Philippians 2:9)
What other differences can you find?
up into glory
After the resurrection, Jesus was received into heaven to
at God’s right hand, never to suffer death again. God
promised that if he laid down his life for the world he would
live again. Early in the morning on the third day after Jesus
died on the cross, God Fulfilled his promise and raised his
to give him a position above everything else in the universe.
Jesus became the only mediator between mankind and God;
high priest and saviour through whom all must repent and
seek forgiveness. Jesus had become completely at one with
Philippians 2:9–11, 1
Timothy 2:5 , Hebrews
4:14–15; Acts 5:30–31
Jesus is coming again. He will leave his father’s side
over the world with a rod of iron until the last enemy (death)
destroyed. After death is destroyed, Jesus will pass a perfect
kingdom over to his father. He will remain powerful, subject
only to God. 1 Corinthians 15:24–28
|As a father, God:
||As a son, Jesus:
|• loved his son Jesus;
||• honoured and loved his God and father;
|• directed and commanded his son;
||• actively sought out his father’s wishes;
|• helped his son in all things;
||• obeyed his father despite the suffering this brought;
|• rewarded his son for obedience.
||• accepted his father’s love and blessings and waits to be given a kingdom.
1. God spoke from heaven a few times during the ministry
of Jesus. Find all of the cases and look at what God said
about his son. For whose benefit were these things said?
2. In John 5:18 the Jews believed that in claiming to be
God’s son, Jesus was making himself equal with God.
Jesus gives an answer in verse 19. Does he say that the
Jews were right?
1. When Jesus became a mediator between us and his father,
how was his relationship with his father changed?
2. God’s relationship with Jesus is the perfect example
father/son relationship. What can we learn from this to
apply in our lives?
• BB Study 8.5
• The Christadelphians: what they believe and preach
Harry Tennant (published by The Christadelphian, 1986),
Chapter 11 “The Christ: whose son is he?”. 10
• Wrested scriptures by Ron Abel (published by The Christadelphians,
Pasadena). Pages 185–210 deal with passages that are
frequently misinterpreted by people who
believe that Jesus is equal with God.
Old Testament prophecies of Jesus
31. Jesus as Messiah
32. Jesus: Son of God and Son of Man