JESUS CHRIST, SON AND MANIFESTATION OF GOD
Jesus of Nazareth was:
“a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs,
which God did by him in the midst of you” (Acts
The Only Begotten Son
But he was more than merely man. He was God’s only
begotten son. The angel of God showed this before his birth to Mary, his
“Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt
call his name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the
Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a
man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) shall
come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore
also that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of
God” (Luke 1:31-35)
So Jesus is God’s son - not “God the Son”, a
phrase nowhere found or hinted at in Scripture. As son of God, he is
neither co-equal nor co-eternal with the Father. His existence began at his
birth some 2,000 years ago.
But being son of God, the mental and moral family likeness to
his Father is evident in Jesus, as we would expect.
“The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the
glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth”
Mental and Moral Image of God
So close is and was this mental and moral likeness to his
Father that Jesus is called:
“The image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature... For it
pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians
Being the image of God in character, it is clear he is not
God, but a manifestation who shows us God’s thoughts and ways - which we
could not otherwise see.
Jesus is shown to us as being in character in the form
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in
the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (Better
translated - Considered not equality with God a thing to be grasped - Revised
version and Revised Standard Version) but made himself of no reputation... and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross... Wherefore God also
hath highly exalted him (Philippians
This passage is the climax of an exhortation by the Apostle
Paul for us to avoid an attitude of pride and selfishness. And to enforce the
exhortation strongly, he illustrated that Jesus himself achieved his reward and
exaltation by showing just such a character - humble and unselfish.
He was in the form of God, that is, he showed in his character
all the virtues of God, yet he did not seek to usurp the reverence due to God -
but rather emptied out pride and became humble as a servant (Philippians 2:7).
And Jesus perfected his work of service in obeying God right up to death on the
cross. Christ’s relationship to God is clearly shown here - he was in
God’s form mentally and morally - that is a copy of God’s
character. And he was obedient to God as a servant and son.
Of One Mind with God
The likeness of Christ as son of God to his Father in
character and virtue is illustrated in his own words in John 10:30-36:
“I and my Father are one” (verse
The Jews misunderstood this. They thought he was claiming to
be God, just as Trinitarians today misunderstand him (verses 31-33). So Jesus
makes clear that the unity he means is a mental, moral unity, a likeness of
character founded on his complete absorption of the word of God - and that a
similar oneness of mind with God is for others beside him, at least in measure
So Christ shows the source of the doctrine and power he
possessed to have been his Father (John 7:16; 8:28-29, 38, 42).
The Word Made Flesh
Christ’s character and his whole way of life were formed
by God’s word. So complete was its effect on his mind that he is
described as the “word made flesh” (John 1:14). This means that the
mind of his Father exhibited in the Bible was so indelibly engraved in
Jesus’ heart that all his thoughts and actions were generated by his
Father’s will. The book of Hebrews confirms this:
“Lo, I come to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews
God’s will for Christ was that God should perfect in him
an unblemished character by His word and strength and then Christ should lay
down his life as a sacrifice, crucified to save all who believe in
Jesus espoused this purpose with all his heart, and in love
for God and us, gave himself wholly to God to perform that work in
“Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he
suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto
all them that obey him” (Hebrews
He is shown to be son and servant of God - not part of the
Godhead - and to have given to God the obedience his position as son and servant
God Manifest in Flesh
This great Bible doctrine of God manifest (or shown forth) in
flesh is summarised in 1 Timothy 3:
“Without controversy great is the mystery (or secret) of Godliness: God
was manifest in the flesh...” (verse
Here is God’s explanation of how Jesus’ perfect
life and character came to be. He was a man, human flesh, and subject to the
same weakness and temptation as we are. But God showed himself in Jesus - he
formed Jesus’ character and virtues in him by the indwelling of His
This is said to us to show us how we may “know how we
ought to behave ourselves in the house of God” (verse 15). In fact God
seeks to manifest himself in us as he did in Christ.
The Relationship of Jesus To His Father
ON THOMAS’ STATEMENT - John 20: 28
The basis of understanding this is in John
A quote from Psalm 82:6 is made by Jesus. The Psalm
shows that the judges of Israel are called “gods” (Elohim) on the
basis that the word of God came unto them.
Ephesians 1:3 God was the God of Jesus as well as his
Father (cp. .John 20:17).
John 17:1-3 v3 is the key to life eternal. THE FATHER
IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD - Jesus excludes himself = he is the servant of God (e.g.
Isaiah 52:13; 53:9-11).
1 Corinthians 8:4-6 - there is only one true
1 Timothy 2:3 - the reason for this title is in v4,
note v5 this was written approximately A.D.65 - 30 years after Jesus had
ascended to heaven. Jesus is still called man - therefore he is not God. But,
further as a mediator he is drawn from mankind. He can only be a mediator if he
is not God.
John 17:5 is to be understood that the Father’s
purpose of glory was known to the Father before the world was and He foresaw His
son at the head of this glorified family, see vv2l-22.
(Why we do not have a paid ministry:
Acts 20:28-34; 1 Peter 5:2-3; 2 Peter 2:1-3 (feigned = counterfeit) - i.e. they
buy you and do it with counterfeit
Matthew 11:10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; James 2:25 - angels translated
Homework: On God manifestation John 6:27-29,51,63
– read the whole chapter
John 3:2 -         Nicodemus is implying that they could not
understand what Jesus was saying.
John 3:3 -         Jesus uses “see” in 2
John 3:4 -         the problem was they took literally figures of
speech and they took as figurative what he spoke literally.
John 3:13 -         is one of the heavenly things - i.e. if you look
at it from a human viewpoint you’ll get it wrong. If you look at it from
a Divine viewpoint you’ll get it right. “The son of man” is
the subject of the verse - he ascended, came down from and is in heaven. God
speaks of all these things as having occurred because He has foreseen these
things. Jesus’ life was of spirit. His character developed by the Spirit
and after resurrection changed to Spirit nature (cp. 2 Corinthians
(John 20:21-28 Thomas convinced of the corporeal
resurrection of Jesus; Mark 16:9-14 cp. Luke 24:13,29-3l.)
Christ was in heaven in outlook cp. Ephesians 1:1-2,3. We too
are to be in “heaven”, Ephesians 2:4-6; Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew
6:19-21 cp. Isaiah 55:8-11 conveys several of the ideas of John 3.
John 6:38 - Jesus is subject to the will of a greater
John 6:39 -         His works are of the Father’s
John 6:44 -         Except you have an influence from heaven you will
never understand me.
John 6:46 -         Jesus has totally and clearly perceived the
John 6:51 -         Where was the flesh made? On earth of course.
There it cannot mean the actual descent of a being from heaven, but the creation
of a being upon earth.
John 6:60 -         cp. John 3:13 see the Son of Man go back - as
spirit the descent occurred he went back as a spirit man.
John 6:63 -         Confirms that it is the spirit descending and
giving life which is the vital point, not the flesh.