One of best known Titles for Jesus is that He is the "Son of God". It is used in reference to Jesus over 45 times in the New Testament. Jesus being described as the Son of God is used in all four Gospels, it is how the Gospel of Mark starts out (Mark 1:1 – "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God"), and it is sometimes mentioned along with Jesus being the Messiah (see as an example, Luke 4:41 – "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God.") But my question for this positing is that when the Bible says that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God does this somehow make Jesus less important than God the Father? Is the Messiah on equal footing with God the Father, or is God the Father more important than the Son? And I will tip my hand right from the start – Jesus the Son of God is to receive the same glory and recognition as God the Father. Let me explain how I come to this conclusion as follows.
As the title of this Blog entry suggests, I tie in Jesus being the Son of God with His also having the Title Emmanuel, which means "God with us". So in the Old Testament we have the prophecy of the coming baby who will be called "Immanuel", which means God with us" (Isa. 7:14). And in the Nativity story contained in the Gospel of Matthew, we see in Matt. 1:23, that an Angel appeared to Joseph saying that the birth of Jesus means that He is the Immanuel, by quoting Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, repeating this important Title of the baby - that this child born of the virgin is Immanuel, God with us.
And so we see that Jesus' name being the Son of God is further clarified by His Title of "Immanuel". Although Jesus is fully human, He had flesh and blood, and also the nature of humans. But He was also fully God. This makes Jesus in His first Advent being God in the flesh: Jesus is both fully human and also fully God. This is what is meant by Jesus as Immanuel, God with us. A human in our midst Who is Divine. And so, we see that God Himself came to earth in the body of a newborn. And His reason for coming to earth is given away by His name - Jesus. His name means "He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Therefore, Jesus Immanuel is God coming as a human being to save us from our sins. It is all spelled out in His names and titles: Son of God, Immanuel (God with us), Messiah (foretold by Old Testament prophecy), and Jesus (Savior of those who believe He is the Son of God and Savior, who saves believers from God's punishment for our disobedience, rebellion, and all of our sins.) So you see, His Names say it all.
The Westminster Confession has a beautiful summary of the Triune God – as best I recall, it says: There is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God in Three persons. They are the same in substance, and equal in power and equal in glory.
Why I like the Westminster's description is that it matches up with what is contained in the Bible, and recognizes the Three Persons of God are of the same nature/substance, and it also gives all Three equal glory and recognition to the persons of the Godhead. All three are needed for our salvation, and all three are active today. And so, I answer my opening question of whether God the Father is more important than Jesus the Son by saying that both are equally important, and both are entitled to our full worship, praise and the glory that we give out.
So my Application for those who find this a challenging subject, is to consider why did God have to come to earth? What did He have to accomplish while He was here? If you have a good understanding of the answers to these questions, you may have the assurance of salvation described in 1 John 5:13. If you would like to talk to me more about this, please let me know.