First 455 words of the document:
Titles for Jesus: Son of God
Introduction: the Jewish Background
The term son of God was used for three groups of people in the Old Testament.
Mostly it referred to the nation of Israel. It conveyed the intimate relationship
that existed between God and his chosen people. It was also used of Old
Testament kings, who were declared at their coronations to be God's adopted
sons. This indicated a very special relationship between God and the king and
the king's role as a representative of Israel. Faithful Jews were called sons of God. They were seen as
the true people of God.
Jesus as Son of God
Jesus did not call himself the Son of God, but it was a title that Mark saw as particularly important. For
him, as for his readers, Jesus' relationship with God was unique. He was not an adopted son of God or
a son of God in the sense of a faithful Jew, but the Son of God by nature. Mark Believed that Jesus
was like God in a unique sense. The title occurs at significant points in Mark's Gospel:
As Mark's introduction to the gospel
As the key events of the baptism and transfiguration
As the key question at the trial before the Sanhedrin
Immediately after Jesus died
Jesus was also declared Son of God by demon-possessed people, who were believed to have
supernatural knowledge and recognised the true nature of Jesus' relationship with God.
The Baptism of Jesus
According to Mark Jesus was very aware of his unique relationship with God and the
mission to which God had called him. Even further than that Mark wrote his gospel in
Greek, and the Greek word translated here as `whom I love' is sometimes used in a
special sense to mean `only'. Many scholars think that in Marks account of Jesus'
baptism, Jesus was addressed as `my only son'.
The importance of this title for 21st century Christians
Many Christians think that this is the best title for Jesus as it states clearly what Christianity teaches. It
is not vague, it has no politically links, and nor is it tied to a particular culture. It shows the closeness of
Jesus' relationship with God and it reminds them of his power to save and heal. Some Christians,
however, find it off-putting. Although they accept it as part of Christian belief, they prefer to think of
Jesus as a more personal figure to whom they are close. The Son of God seems quite remote.