#08 Jesus as the Son

By Dr. Stephen Phinney

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me” (John 8:28).

“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel” (John 5:20).

"Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner’ ” (John 5:19).

“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand” (John 3:35).

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19).

“But kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus” (Matt.1:25).

Covenant Prayer

Dear Father, I know that Jesus is Your Son and He was birthed from Your seed. I accept the fact He was born of a virgin woman (Mary), whom You selected to be the mother of our Savior. I understand He does nothing on His own initiative and speaks only the things that You give Him to say. Therefore, I join You in Your stated truth that I cannot speak, nor do anything on my own initiative. I know, without question, You love Your Son. You also love me with the same love You offer Him. I accept that You have given all things to Your Son, and in return, Jesus offers them to me. I accept my victory in Your Son and pray that any and all sins, which block me from experiencing the fullness of Your Gospel, will be removed from my life. I now proclaim all of who Your Son is - in and through my life. These things I pray in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Matthew 1:25 reveals to us that Jesus was born of a virgin woman. The question begs to be asked, “How did that happen?” The doctrine of the virginity of Mary before the birth of Jesus is a truth in the Scriptures. It is very important that we accept this doctrine.

Matthew 1:20 tells us, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’ ” This conception was a direct action of the Father. He placed His seed inside Mary through the work of His Spirit. Another question begging to be asked is, “Since Jesus was born of a human body that contained sin, why didn’t He have sin in is moral body?” Well, the answer is rather simple: God doesn’t have sin in His seed (1 John 3:9). Sin is passed through the seed, not through blood (Romans 5:14). Mary’s blood had no ability to pass on sin. There are certain religions that have had a hard time with this simple concept and have made Mary out to be holy. What a shame, because placing Mary in this predicament forces her to be of the same holiness as the Trinity. I think not! Before we can accept or even understand all the dynamics surrounding Jesus being the Son of God, we must first accept the truth that He was conceived of a perfect seed – that of the heavenly Father.

Take Action -Your View

  • What does it mean to you personally that Jesus was the Son of God? 
  • Read Matthew 4:6 and state what technique Satan used to have Jesus question that He was the Son of God. 
  • Look up Matthew 27:54 and state what caused these men to understand that Jesus truly was the Son of God? 
  • Looking back over your own Salvation experience, what caused you to believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God?
Flesh and blood cannot reveal to us that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus wants us to know that man had not and cannot reveal this type of truth. It has to be a work of the Spirit by a choice of the Father. It is as if Jesus had said,

“This truth you have not learned from My lowly appearance, from My human nature, from My apparent rank, or from My standing in the world. You, Jews, were expecting to know the Messiah by His external splendor and His pomp and power as a man; but you have not learned Me in this manner. I have shown no such indication of My Messiahship. I even referred to Myself as the Son of Man. Flesh and blood have not shown this to you. In spite of My appearance, My lowly state, and My lack of resemblance to what you have expected, you have learned it from My Abba Father.” 

To “reveal” is to make known, or to communicate something that was unknown or secret. Jesus purposed to keep this fact a secret in order for the work of His Father to be accomplished.

The Father’s View 

God’s First and Only Born Son

His firstborn son…Her firstborn Son…Mary’s oldest son. The One who had the privilege of birthright by Hebrew law, as well as the rights of His Father, was born in humble circumstances of humanity. This does not of necessity imply that she had other children, although it seems probable. Jesus was the name given to the son who was born first, whether there were others or not.

His name is Jesus. This name was given by divine appointment (Matt. 1:21). It was conferred upon Him on the eighth day, at the time of His circumcision (Luke 2:21).

The Father Loves the Son 

He traces this authority to the love the Father has for Him - that special, ineffable, infinite love, which only God has for His only begotten Son - a love which can be feebly and dimly illustrated by the love an earthly parent has for an only child. The love the Father has for His Son is directed solely toward His only Son (John 5:20). We are given the privilege to embrace the love of God because it was first given to His Son. Jesus was then given the commission to express that love toward us through the ministry to which His Father called Him. The love a parent has for a firstborn is not as significant today as it was back in Hebrew days. Nonetheless, God doesn’t alter His doctrines for the contemporary changes of mankind. God loved His Son first and that is what keeps Christ in first place for eternity.

“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel” (John 5:20).

God Hides Very Little from His Firstborn

The Father shows Jesus all of His works and plans, outside of the date of the Second Coming (see Matt. 24:36). He conceals little from Him. For those who are apostles, prophets, and philosophers, etc., the doings of God are concealed, but not from the Son of God. By and through Hebrew tradition, the firstborn typically was given the prerogative to know and understand the mind of their father. This certainly was the case with God and His Son. God shows Him “all” that He needs to know in order to lead in perfect omniscience (knowledge of all things). Besides, no limited mind of man could contain or grasp the knowledge of “all” the works of God. For this “firstborn” was true evidence that He was the Son of God.

The Father Will Show Him Greater Works Than These

The greater works to which He refers are those He proceeds to specify, i.e. He will raise the dead and judge the world, etc. (John 5:21). Another example is healing the impotent man and commanding him to carry his bed on the Sabbath day (John 5:9-16).

The Son Has Full Control

This same doctrine is clearly taught often in the New Testament. It means Christ has control over all things for the good of His Church (His bride): the government and order of the universe is committed to Him “as Mediator, and He may redeem His bride and guide her to glory.

Take Action -Your View

Take a few minutes, look up each of the stated verses, and write an overview statement:

  • John 3:35
  • John 6:46 
  • John 10:15 
  • Ephesians 1:20-22 
  • Colossians 1:16-17
Jesus said, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:27)

No Man Fully Knows the Son

This means that the supernature of the Son of God, the mystery of the union between the divine heavenly Father and human nature, cannot be fully understood. Since His exalted character is “divine,” no mortal being can fully comprehend the fullness of the Son of the Father. To know Jesus completely is to know all aspects of the Father. Just as it is in an earthly parent/child relationship, none but His Abba Father can fully know Him. Keep in mind that we will be given the privilege to get to know our Husband (Christ) as we walk with Him throughout eternity.

No Man Knows the Father

In the original, this is: neither no one knows the Father except the Son. This means that no man or angel clearly and fully comprehends the character of the infinite God the Father; none, but the Son - the Lord Jesus – unless Jesus decides to reveal His Father to man. This truth is significant! God rightly preserves anyone, man or angel, from knowing Him unless Jesus decides to reveal the Father. That, of course, will not happen unless they come to know the Son first. The heavenly Father placed His Son as a shield for Himself. No man can come unto the Father except by His Son. In order for us, as mankind, to have our hearts restored back to the Father, we must first give our hearts to His Son. For anyone who chooses not to do this gives their heart to Satan for eternity. Always remember: all of mankind (past, present, and future generations) will have their hearts owned by a father - either God the Father or the father of lies (Satan).

“Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner’ ” (John 5:19).

The Son Can Do Nothing of Himself

Here, Jesus states the extent of His authority. He proceeds to show the “source and nature” of this authority and also prove to the Jews what He has said is true.

The first explanation He gives is in these words:

  • “The Son” - Whom He had just implied affirmed to be equal with God 
  • “can do nothing of Himself” – This means nothing without the appointment and directive of the Father; nothing contrary or out of the ordained will of the Father. It is meant that in the alive union between the Father and the Son, He (Christ) can do nothing “independently” or separately from His Abba Father. Such is the nature of this union that the Son can do nothing that the Father does not command. Since He is in the form of God’s nature, He must, from the necessity of His nature, act in accordance with the nature and will of His Abba. Such is the intimacy of their union, which proves “He” does all things in concurrence with the agency of God. There is no separate action - no separate existence; but both in being and in action, there is the most perfect oneness between Him and the Father.
Take Action -Your View

  • Look up John 17:21 (NASB) and fill in the blanks: “ ‘That they may all be ___________; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be _______ Us, so that the world may ___________ that You sent Me.’ ”
What He Sees the Father Do

Jesus Christ sees His Father in the works of creation, in divine intervention, in making laws, and in the administration of the universe. There is a special force in the word “sees” here. No person can see God acting in His works; but the Word certainly implies that the Son can see Him act, as we see our fellow men act, and that He has a knowledge of the Father, which no mere mortal could possess. This is the perfect illustration of a boy watching his father do to do! Jesus did only what he saw His Father “doing.” This is the ideal example of the parent/child in relationship, training, and obedience.


The Word is without limit - all that the Father does, the Son likewise does. This is as high of a declaration as possible of His being “equal” with God. If one does “all” that another does, or can do, then there must be equality. If the Son does all that the Father does, then, like Him, He must be almighty (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere at all times), and infinite (eternal) with all perfection. In other words, He must be God. Since He has “this” power, then He has the authority of His Father. Therefore, if upon our Salvation, we are in Christ and Christ is in us, we then are given all authority to live as He lives, yet without being God. Why? Jesus is like His Father, which is what makes Him God; we are like the Son of man, that is what makes us children of God – not God.

All Scriptures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Next time: Jesus and the Institution of Marriage