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    Jesus Christ Son of God or God the Son?

    Sam Shamoun

    Introduction

    Many Muslim dawagandists believe that Jesus claim of being the Son of God isnt sufficientproof that he believed he was God. They highlight the fact that there is a clear distinction

    between the expressions "God the Son" and "Son of God," since the former implies Deitywhereas the latter does not. They further contend that Jesus never called himself "God the

    Son," but used a title which is often applied to others without this implying that these otherpersons are divine beings. Why, then, do Christians assume that Jesus necessarily claimed to

    be God just because he said he was Gods Son?

    The purpose of this article is to examine the manner in which Jesus called himself Gods Son

    in order to show that there is no substance whatsoever to this oft-repeated Muslim assertion.

    We will demonstrate that the way in which Jesus identified himself as the Son of God

    strongly and unambiguously supports his absolute Deity. Our goal here will be to prove thatChrist was basically calling himself God the Son when he said he was the Son of God, since

    the latter expression functions as a synonym of the former phrase, e.g. the Son of God inreference to Jesus has the same meaning as God the Son.

    With the foregoing in view we now proceed to the Biblical evidence.

    The Biblical Data

    Jesus is Gods beloved Son and Heir

    The following parable helps us to better appreciate Jesus self-understanding:

    "He then began to speak to them in parables: A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall

    around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to

    some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servantto the tenants to

    collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent

    him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servantto them; they struck this man on the

    head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many

    others; some of them they beat, others they killed. He had one left to send, a son, whom he

    loved. He sent him last of all, saying, "They will respect my son." But the tenants said to one

    another, "This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." So they took

    him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard." Mark 12:1-8

    In the parable the owner represents God and the servants refer to Gods prophets which he

    sent to Israel:

    "From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent

    you my servants the prophets." Jeremiah 7:25

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    "Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, Do not do this detestable thingthat I hate!" Jeremiah 44:4

    The beloved Son and Heir in this particular parable is supposed to be Jesus whom the Jewish

    leadership rejected and killed.

    Jesus teaching here emphatically shows that he didnt believe that he was on the same levelof a servant like the rest of the prophets, but actually thought of himself as being greater in

    position and as having a more intimate relationship with God. Christ is basically claimingto

    be unlike the prophets/servants in that he is greater than all of them since he is Gods unique

    Son and the One who owns everything that belongs to his Father.

    This isnt the only time that Christ claimed to own or possess all that God possesses:

    "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the

    Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses toreveal him." Matthew 11:27

    "He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that

    belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and

    make it known to you." John 16:14-15

    "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: Father, the time has come.Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all

    people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given himAll I have is yours,and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them." John 17:1-2, 10

    And since he is the Heir this means that Jesus holds greater honor than and has authority over

    Gods servants, the prophets:

    "But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell youthe truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and

    to hear what you hear but did not hear it." Matthew 13:16-17

    "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.

    You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, and you have seen Abraham! I tellyou the truth, Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" John 8:56-58

    "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various

    ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of allthings, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and

    the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After hehad provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in

    heavenAnd again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, Let all God's

    angels worship him." Hebrews 1:1-3, 6

    "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses , just as the builder of a househas greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the

    builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servantin all God's house, testifying to what

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    would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are hishouse, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." Hebrews 3:3-6

    "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you,

    searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstancesto which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of

    Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not servingthemselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who

    have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to

    look into these things." 1 Peter 1:10-12

    In fact, Jesus claims to have been the one who sent those prophets:

    "Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you willkill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And

    so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood ofrighteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the

    temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. "O Jerusalem,

    Jerusalem,you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to

    gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you werenot willing. Matthew 23:34-37

    Jesus the Son is the Exalted Lord of creation and the Divine Son of Man

    Jesus further identifies himself as the Son of Man who sits enthroned at Gods right hand as

    King of creation and who determines the eternal destiny of every individual:

    "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory .And he will send

    HISangels and gather

    HISelect from the four winds, from the ends of the

    earth to the ends of the heavens." Mark 13:26-27

    "Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, Are you not going to answer?

    What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you? But Jesus remained silent

    and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the

    Blessed One? I am, said Jesus. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand

    of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven . The high priest tore his clothes.

    Why do we need any more witnesses? he asked. You have heard the blasphemy. What do

    you think?" Mark 14:60-64

    "When the Son of Man comes in his glory , and all the angels with him, he will sit on his

    throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separatethe people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the

    sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the Kingwill say to those on his right,

    Come, you who are blessed byMY FATHER; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared

    for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I

    was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I

    needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and

    you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you

    hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a

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    stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or inprison and go to visit you? The Ki

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