Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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We all know that the Old Testament is full of prophecies about the Christ, His birth, His ministry, His passion, and His resurrection. The O.T. also has some prophecies about the divinity of the Christ (the Lord said to my Lord, the God your God anointed You ..., etc). The Christ stated clearly that He was the Messiah (to the Samaritan woman). He also said clearly that Moses and the scriptures testify of him. The question now is from where did the doctrine of His Sonship to God come. For example, Nathaniel says, You are the king of Israel; You are the Son of God (he did not say you are God). Martha (Lazarus' sister) says, I believe, You are the Son of God (in a time where His divinity was about to be declared). The disciples worshiped Jesus after He calmed the storm, saying, You are truly the Son of God. Peter confesses to His divinity as the Son of God. The Jews themselves understood Jesus as being God every time He spoke of Himself as the Son of God (we stone You not because of good deeds but because You are a man and You make Yourself a God). The Jews' main charge against the Christ ... according to their law, He should die because He made Himself a Son of God. Jesus told the man born blind that He was the Son of God. How did the Jews know that the Son of God is God himself, especially if their understanding of the Messiah was limited to saving them from the Romans. Why did the Christ always refer to Himself as the Son of God in all times where His divinity was declared and not as God. H. H. Pope Shenouda III says that had He said so, the Jews would have stoned Him. Did not the Jews attempt to stone Him because He said He was the son of God ... why then did Jesus not clearly say He was God?

Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly stated His identity on several occasions and in every way to lead one to believe that He indeed is God in the flesh of man. By taking flesh, He became the Son of God and the Son of Man, yet, He never separated from God. God is a Holy Trinity, with three hypostasis, but One in essence.

"I and My Father are one" (John 10:30).

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity was established from the beginning of the Holy Scriptures: God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Word (Logos/Wisdom/Son who would become incarnate and take the weak flesh of God's disobedient son Adam in order to graft him and his descendants into His Holy Body and restore him unto God).

"In the beginning God created... " (Genesis 1:1) --- Father
"And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters..." (Genesis 1:2) --- Holy Spirit
"Then God said..." (Genesis 1:3) --- Son (Word/Logos/Wisdom)
"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness... So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them..." (Genesis 1:26,27) --- Holy Trinity

St. Paul the Apostle reminded the Hebrews of the faith of the patriarchs and the hope of the promises in which they reposed. This hope was in the promise of the Redeemer, i.e., the Messiah, God who would deliver them from everlasting bondage, and not just the temporary occupation of oppressors, as they were all too familiar with earthly captivity. The fact that some may have rejected that understanding does not mean that the Holy Scriptures did not forewarn them and predict the characteristics of the Messiah to be God Incarnate.

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth" (Hebrew 11:13)

Some Jews may have had the limited view that the Messiah was a way out of oppression and that He would reign over them as an earthly king. However, many did understand that He would be the Savior, God incarnate. For this reason, Simeon the Elder was consoled when the Holy Spirit revealed to him that the Holy Child in his arms is the God the Savior.

"Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel" (Luke 2:29-32).

The Jews were familiar with angels, judges, kings, and prophets, and they knew that yet they still could not be saved by them, but could only be led by them out of captivity for a short while. Those who understood the letter and the spirit of the Holy Scriptures understood that the Messiah would be the Son of God and anticipated His coming.

"If I honor myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad" (John 8:54-56).

Our Lord Jesus Christ offered Himself in the flesh as the obedient Son of God, who truly and fully knows His Father's will, and gladly obeys it.

"You are My Son, today I have begotten You" (Psalm 2:7; Hebrew 5:5).

In His declaration of proclaiming His true Sonship to God, as also being God, He accused the unbelieving Jews of misinterpreting the truth.

"Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” (John 10:31).

There were some instances when our Lord Jesus Christ clearly said that He was God and other times when He was clear about His hypostasis as the Son of God. No one could or will ever see God the Father, nor God the Holy Spirit, for He is Spirit and appears as Fire, Dove, Oil, etc. However, we can see and touch God the Son.

"'Do you believe in the Son of God?' And he answered and said, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' And Jesus said to him, 'you have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.'" (John 9:37).

The Lord assured His disciples that it is not the flesh which He assumed that has authority, but God the Son, and who is in the Son but God, which further connects the doctrine of Christ's Sonship to God.

"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him...Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father, so how can you say, 'Show us the Father? Do you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves" (John 14:7-11).

St. Paul's letter to the Romans chapter 11 further explains the state of stupor in which the Israelites fell that they could not recognize the Messiah, but as prophesied, their rejection opened the doors to the faith which the Gentiles were ready to accept.
The following link will provide you with more information on: "Our Lord Jesus Christ & the Father".
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