The Son of the Most High

An emty manger in a bare room. The shadow of the window foma a cross and wreath on the wall.

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 32

 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.

Luke 1:32 ESVUK

The reading points out that Jesus is the only Son of the Most High. The angel Gabriel told Mary that her son woild be the Son of the Most High, not a son of the Most High. Jesus is unique.

The term Most High goes back to a polytheistic time for the Israelites and means that their god, Yahweh, is a greater god than all the gods of the surrounding nation. The Jews have been monotheistic since at least the Babylonian exile, and probably for a time before that, so why bring up that term at the annunciation? I have no clear answer to this, but my best guess, and it is a guess, is because of the occupying Romans – Two points are being made here, Jesus is the Son of God and God is greater than the gods of the Romans.

The previous post was about the title Jesus chose for himself, Son of Man, which focussed on his humanity. Jesus was fully a human. In Son of the Most High and Son of God, on the other hand, the focus is on Jesus’ divinity. Jesus laid aside his majesty to become a human being and to serve and die for humans but in that time was always still God.

But what about us? Are we not children of God also? Does not the Bible say, “To all who did receive him he gave the right to become children of God? (John 1:12).” Did Jesus not teach his followers to pray to “Our Father?” Yes, we are children of God because our identity is in Christ. In Christ is a phrase used several times in the letter to the Romans to show how we relate to God. Christ suffered for our sins, in Christ we suffer for our sins. Christ was crucified, in Christ we die to our sins. Christ was raised from the dead, in Christ we too are raised.

After he was raised Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Jesus never spoke about his followers as his brothers until after he was raised from death. Because we already share in Jesus’ resurrection because we are in Christ, we become brothers and sisters with Jesus and sons and daughters of God.

There is only one Son of God, Jesus Christ, but we are in Christ.

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