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February 6, 2011
Various people in the time of Christ were convinced that He was the Son of God.
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see’” (John 1:45,46). When he came and saw Jesus, Nathanael said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49).
What reason did Nathanael have to confess that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God? He saw that Jesus had infinite knowledge of him, such as only God could have. We have the same reason to make the same confession, for He knows us, as He knew Nathanael—He knows what is in man (John 2:25).
The apostles said to Jesus, “Truly You are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33). What reason did they have to make this confession? Because only the Son of God could have such authority as they saw Him exercise. They had struggled against the contrary wind on the sea of Galilee for several hours without progress. Jesus, separated from them by several miles, in the darkness of night saw their distress. He walked on the water. He stilled the tempest. He did for them what they had not been able to do in hours of rowing. He brought the boat immediately to its destination (Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:21). With such evidence it would have been unreasonable for them not to believe.
Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). What reason did Peter have to make this confession? He was present with the others in the tempest on the Sea of Galilee. He, too, saw Christ walk on the water. He was the one Christ saved from the watery grave. In addition to this and many other miracles which he had seen Christ work, Jesus said that his Father in heaven had revealed this truth to Peter (Matthew 16:17). We have reason to believe and make this same confession because God in His word has revealed this same truth to us.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world’” (John 11:25-27). The close association which she and her sister Mary and her brother Lazarus had with Jesus had thoroughly convinced her that He was the Son of God. When she saw
Jesus raise her brother from the dead, one who had been in the tomb four days, she had further reason to believe that her friend Jesus was the Son of God.
“So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had occurred, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God’” (Matthew 27:54). At high noon dark- ness covered the earth. Never before at the death of any man had there been such a demonstration of nature—the darkness at midday, the eruption of an earthquake, the opening of tombs and the coming forth of the dead. The centurion had reason to confess Christ as the Son of God.
God, who above all others knew His Son, confessed at the baptism of Jesus—“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My be- loved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17). Again at the transfiguration of Jesus, “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5). Not to believe that Jesus is the Son of God is a dreadful denial of the truthfulness of God’s word. But His word is true. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
The Ethiopian Eunuch
When Philip preached Jesus to this man, the one sermon was enough to convince him that Jesus is the Son of God. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’ Then Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:35-39). The eunuch did not confess before his baptism, “I believe that God for Christ’s sake has pardoned my sins.” Had he done so, he would have been confessing something that was not true.
Why should we confess Christ to be the Son of God? Because He is the Son of God. Because our salvation depends upon this pledge of allegiance to Christ— “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9,10).