Summary: An examination of the Jesus' title "Son of God," geared to help people have a strengthened conviction regarding the deity of Jesus and to more carefully point others toward the same
The first ever TV special based on the Peanuts cartoon strip was “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” in 1965. When they first saw the show, CBS executives were strongly against the idea of an animated Christmas special with such a blatant message. Bill Melendez, one of the producers, tried to talk Charles Schulz out of using Biblical references, especially the scene where Linus gives the true meaning of Christmas by quoting Luke 2:8-14. Schulz reportedly won him over by saying, "If we don't tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?" As it turned out, Linus’ quotation from Luke is one of the most power moments in the whole thing. And, for the next 47 years, the Charlie Brown Christmas Special has played on TV every year. 3 cheers for Linus, and for Charles Schulz!
There’s a risk with making a big deal of something over and over. Year after year, we purposely come into contact with the story of Christmas, the facts of Christmas, the traditions, the sights, sounds, smells, and all the memories associated with Christmas. Year after year, over and over, with the same sights and sounds and words we remember the birth of Jesus into the world. Included in all these is the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin. There are all these names and titles we associate with Jesus, and among the many is this name, or title, that was delivered by the angel Gabriel to Mary very early on in the story as he brings her the news that she will bear a son.
"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
I poured over these verses again and again. Could it be that we’ve gotten it out of balance? Is the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, His deity, overemphasized, or maybe are we reading that into the text? Let’s see, in these few verses…
An angel from Heaven is giving this message
He will be called Son of the Most High
The Lord God is going to give Him the throne of David
He will reign, forever, over an unending Kingdom
The HS will come upon Mary; the Most High will overshadow her
The Child is going to be a holy Child
He’ll be called the Son of God
Nope, I’m pretty sure that Luke wants us to understand that Jesus really is the Son of God! In fact, Mark, who doesn’t include any detail at all about the Christmas story, starts his gospel with
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
He will be called the Son of God. It’s around that idea now that we want to highlight some important outcomes…
He will be called the Son of God.
I. His Conception Will Be God-Enacted
Gabriel told Mary:
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
The fact that Jesus is the Son of God is closely tied to the fact that His conception was a miracle.
I know it will rattle some cages here, but the birth of a baby is not a miracle. The very first thing Adam and Eve were commanded to do – Gen 1:28 – was have babies. God said, “Be fruitful and fill the earth.” He didn’t say, “Go work miracles.” The birth of a baby is a wondrous thing, but it’s not a miracle. It’s very much within the laws of nature – it’s very natural.
We also need to recognize that the conception of Jesus isn’t the 1st miraculous conception.
We read stories about women who were without children, but God changes that – Elkanah and Hannah, Jacob and Rachel – they conceive and bear children.
Then we read of others who didn’t have children, and for them to have a child would be more than just unexpected. It would be a miracle. Abraham and Sarah, at ages 99 and 89 were told by God they would have a son the next year. And, right here in this angel announcement to Mary (v36) is the news that old Elizabeth, Mary’s relative, is 6 months pregnant, even though she’s way too old to bear a child. To quote Zacharias, “I am old, and my wife is advanced in years.” Smart man! But these 2 old ladies each have children. It’s a miracle. God seems to be able to handle that kind of thing.