“Jesus, Son of God? Where on earth did Christians get that idea?”
Documentary produced by Roger Malstead • Notes and Questions:
Key Historical Facts:
Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325
- Created a useful summary of what Christians believe, did not create new beliefs. This would help guard against false teaching.
Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of a province in Northern Turkey, A.D. 112
- Wrote in a letter that Christians gather and “sing a hymn to Christ, as to a god.”
Ignatius of Antioch, 110 A.D.
- In seven of his surviving letters, wrote that Jesus is God, as if his readers were already aware of this.
New Testament letters and records written between A.D. 45 and A.D. 100.
- In these works, Jesus and his followers ascribe divinity to him.
- Christians prayed in the name of Jesus, sang worship songs to Jesus, and baptized in the name of Jesus, thereby equating him with God.
Understanding the Deity of Jesus:
How can Jesus be God and the Son of God at the same time?
The nature of light as an analogy for understanding the Trinity:
- Light has been observed to act as both a particle and a wave, even though our minds cannot grasp how it can be both at the same time.
- Light exists in wave-particle duality, but this is mysterious and very hard to understand.
“Son” is a metaphor, not a literal reality.
- A spark has been described metaphorically as a “son of the flame.”
- Jesus referred to himself using several metaphors (Bread of life, Light of the world…)
- “Son” communicates a special, unique, and very close relationship with God the Father.
- “Son” also communicates that Jesus has the same nature as God
The “I am” statements of Jesus (e.g. John 8:58) communicate divinity, as does his authoritative declaration that he can forgive sins (Mark 2:5).
In the Old Testament, God expresses his desire to dwell closely with his people many times, and promises that he will do just that. Jesus (and the Spirit) is the ultimate fulfillment of this.
- Did this film help you to understand how Jesus can be both the Son of God and God at the same time? What does “Son of God” mean to you?
- Did this film give you some historical evidence that made you think? Examples?
- At the beginning of the video, it appeared that many Muslims seemed open to talk about the question, “What is God like?” Would you ever ask someone in your world a question like this? Could this question foster good conversations in our contexts today?
- Did this film help to increase your awe of Jesus in any way? How so?