According to the book of Luke, Jesus is presented as the savior of both Israel and the whole human race. The birth of Jesus was foretold by Angel Gabriel when he appeared to Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26 – 38). He announced that Mary would give birth to a child whose name would be “the Son of the Most High”. Since Mary was a virgin she wondered how this would be but the angel told her “the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1: 35). Indeed this would be a special birth. Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph who was in the linage of King David.
This had to be, in the fulfillment of the Old Testament prediction that Jesus was to be born in the lineage of David. Jesus’ birth happened in Bethlehem, in manger and a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God (Luke 1: 13) Shepherds came to see the baby at Bethlehem. At a very young age of 12 years Jesus already knew who he was and everyone was amazed at his “understanding and his answers”. Jesus knew he was the Son of God because after 3 days of search by his parents at Jerusalem they found him at the temple.
Upon asking him where he had been, he wondered why they were searching for him yet he was in his Father’s house. (Luke 2:49) Jesus dramatic baptism also went further to prove that Jesus was not an ordinary person. As John the Baptist was baptizing Him, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove and a voice came from heaven declaring “You are my son whom I love, with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3: 22). Jesus’ lineage revealed that he was in the lineage of Adam who was the Son of God. Satan also was fully aware of the Sonship of Jesus while he was tempting him in the desert.
He wanted Jesus if he was the Son of God to turn stones into bread. (Luke 4: 3) It is worth noting that while it took a long time for the people including his disciples to notice that Jesus was the Son of God, the demons or evil spirits could immediately recognize he was indeed the Son of God. (Luke 4: 34, Luke 8: 28). In such instances, the demons identified him as the “Son of the Holy one of God”. Being the Son of God, Jesus had the power and authority to give orders to evil spirits he was able to perform various miracles including raising some people upon the dead.
Simon was the first person to come very close in identifying whom Jesus was, this could be seen when Jesus performed the miraculous catch of fish. Peter was so amazed that he became afraid, realizing who Jesus was. (Luke 5: 8). Jesus also had the authority to forgive sins. It is worth noting that this was very symbolic because no one else could forgive sin apart from the person sinned against, who was God. Throughout his teachings Jesus constantly used parables to teach, no other parable came close to describe him as the Son of God than the parable of the tenants.
In this parable, Jesus describes how the owner of the vineyard (God) would send his Son (Jesus) because the people might respect him but they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. This was also a prediction of his death. While Jesus was passing through Jericho, we also see the blind beggar adding another tag to Jesus, Son of David (Luke 19: 38 – 39). This how the people then understood who Jesus was, the son of David. From this account, it seems people only knew him as the son of David. However, Jesus clarified further, who he was.
Although he did not say directly, he cleared the air on the issue of whose son he was. He quoted Psalm 110: 11 to indicate that David called the Christ Lord thus Jesus could not be David’s son. During the last supper, Jesus continued to predict his betrayal and death. He intimidated to his disciples that he was conferring the Kingdom to them just as God; his Father had conferred it to him. At the Mount of Olives just before his arrest, Jesus was in anguish and beseeched God his father to take the cup (death on the cross) from him. The cup could not be taken away because his mission had not been accomplished yet.
Jesus in most cases also identified himself as the “Son of Man” (Luke 5: 24, Luke 6: 5, Luke 7: 34). This was another way of saying the son of God. Peter later exactly defined who Jesus was. When Jesus asked his disciples who he was, Peter pointed out that he was “The Christ of God” to which Jesus retorted that this should strictly not be told to anyone. Jesus in this case perhaps did not want to receive undue attention especially from the establishment because he would turn out to be a threat to the authorities and his mission of seeking and saving those who were lost would not have succeeded.
It was after Jesus had sent out the seventy-two who he sent out two by two and they came back full of joy because of their accomplishment, that Jesus for the first addresses God directly as his Father (Luke 10: 21 – 22). Jesus here acknowledges that his Father has committed everything to him, and he reiterates that no one else knows who the Son is except the Father. We learn from here that for anyone to know whom the Son is it has to be revealed to him by the father- God.
This is the reason why despite how obvious it was, many people of Jesus’ time including his disciples could not understand who he was. While Jesus could not reveal himself to the people while he was running his ministry, this was to change when he was to come the second time. The ‘Son of Man’ after facing many sufferings will have ‘his day’ which will be ‘like the lightening’ (Luke 17: 22 – 37). After Jesus’ arrest, he was then taken before Pilate and Herod, but before that, the teachers of the law and the chief priests interrogated him to find something to accuse him with.
When they asked Jesus who he was, he affirmed indeed he was the Son of god and they found grounds of Blasphemy to pin Jesus with (Luke 22: 66 – 70). By declaring, he was the son of God it meant he was equating himself with God, which was blasphemy. The solders also used this basis to mock him, challenging him if he was the Son of God the ‘Chosen one’ to save himself. After he resurrected a proof that indeed he was the Son of God he ascended to heaven but promised the Holy Spirit who the Father had promised.
Scriptures have been taken from the Holy Bible (NIV). 1984 International Bible Society.
Courtney from Study Moose
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