| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 119 of 261 Index | Zoom | |
It is therefore of the very essence of the teaching of this gospel that we should grasp
the implication of this title "Son of God". Firstly let us examine the way in which John
speaks of Christ under the title "Son". The first reference is critical, in that it sets the
limit to the title, and governs every other reference.
"The only begotten Son" (John 1: 18).
What is meant by "only begotten" is made clear in verse 14, for it is only when "the
Word" became "flesh" and tabernacled among us that the peculiar glory which belonged
to Him as the Only begotten of the Father could be seen. Monogenes is used of ordinary
men and women in Luke 7: 12 "The only son"; 8: 42 "one only daughter" "mine
only child" 9: 38. It is used of Isaac, Abraham's "only begotten son" (Heb. 11: 17).
Thus while Luke and Paul use the word monogenes of natural sonship, John is the only
writer who uses the word of Christ (John 1: 14, 18; 3: 16, 18; I John 4: 9), and it is
evident he did so, in order to enforce upon us the true meaning that is intended in
John 20: 31.
The title "Son of God" occurs in John's gospel eleven times, but in one or two
references, some addition is made, which we will note as we proceed.
"I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (John 1: 34).
"Thou art the Son of God" (John 1: 49).
"The name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3: 18).
The last reference gives us the first occurrence with an addition, and the first
occurrence of John's own testimony. It is the apostle's endeavour to make sure that we
do not separate the title "Son of God" from "the only begotten". John the Baptist and
Nathaniel have given theirs, and now John adds his. We shall observe the importance of
this addition as we proceed.
"The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God" (John 5: 25).
"Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6: 69).
Here is the testimony of the disciples, and two additional titles are found. "That
Christ", so the disciples recognize the Saviour as the Messiah, moreover they recognized
Him as the Son of the "living" God, a statement that must await examination.
"Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" (John 9: 35).
"Because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10: 36).
"That the Son of God might be glorified" (John 11: 4).
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of God" (John 11: 27).
This last is Martha's confession following the Lord's claim to the title "I am the
Resurrection and the Life' (John 11: 25).
"The Jews answered Him, we have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He
made Himself the Son of God" (John 19: 7).
"That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20: 31).