“This is my Son, whom I love. . . .”
— Matthew 3:17
When Christians say Jesus is the Son of God, we mean that Jesus is God. But in the Bible, “Son of God” means something unique as well.
In Psalm 2:7, God tells Israel’s king, “You are my son.” So “son of God” refers to Israel’s king. And when Luke gives a family history for Jesus, it goes all the way back to Adam, who is called “the son of God” (Luke 3:38). In the Bible, the human story starts with Adam. So “son of God” refers also to a foundational human being.
When Jesus is baptized, the voice from heaven says, “This is my Son.” God could be making a theological statement, identifying Jesus too as God. But considering what’s ahead for Jesus, that he will be acclaimed and crucified as Israel’s king, could God also be identifying Jesus as king? And since Jesus is still dripping wet, with his clothes clinging to his body, might God also be identifying Jesus as a foundational human being, a new Adam, as a fresh start for humanity?
God and king and human—maybe it all comes together at the river, with the sky torn open, the Spirit descending, and God claiming with pride, “My Son!” I wonder.
Jesus, Son of God, there is more to you than we realize. You are many things all at once. And you are wonderful. Amen.