The Gospel of Matthew addresses many issues appreciated by those familiar with the Hebrew Bible (i.e. the Old Testament).
For one thing, Matthew finds occasions throughout his book to refer to Jesus as the Son of God. This term had significance for Jews because of its specific use in their Scriptures. Specifically, 2 Samuel 7:14 (where God says to David about his future descendant “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to me”) and Psalm 2:6-7 (where that descendant, the Messiah, was installed as king of God’s people with the declaration from God to him: “You are My Son”).
Thus 21st-century man hears the expression “Son of God” without always appreciating how Matthew and his readers thought of those words. Modern man has been conditioned by two thousand years of church theology. Try to listen to the words as the writer intended them – a writer who knew nothing of the two thousand years of church tradition that would follow him.
Here there are the verses where you can find reference to Jesus being called the Son of God:
Matthew 3:16-17 (Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist and a voice out of the heaven says “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!”)
Matthew 4:3, 6 (Satan challenges the heavenly statement: “If You are the Son of God…”)
Matthew 8:29 (Demons address Jesus as “Son of God.”)
Matthew 14:33 (After seeing Jesus calm the storm that had threatened them, Jesus’ disciples exclaimed, “You are certainly God’s Son!”)
Matthew 16:16 (Peter makes his famous confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”)
Matthew 17:5 (On the Mount of Transfiguration, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”)
Matthew 26:63 (The high priest at Jesus’ trial asks Him point blank, “I adjure You by the living God, that you tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”)
Matthew 27:40, 43 (As He is hanging on the cross, mockers call Him “the Son of God” with sarcasm and ridicule.)
Matthew 27:54 (As Jesus is dying on the cross, a Roman soldier says “Truly this was the Son of God!” It’s not likely that he appreciated the Jewish meaning of the term. Rather, he probably was using the term of the hour to acknowledge that, yes, there was something altogether unique and godly about this man.)
The identity of Jesus as the Son of God was by no means the only theme Matthew gave his readers. It was, however, and signficant one. And only in the resurrection of the Christ could humanity begin to appreciate just how signficant the term was yet to become.
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)