The Son of God?
In my Old Testament Intro class at Southern Bible we just completed our study of Psalms and the students had to take a careful look at Psalm 2. Their homework assignment was to wrestle with what the text meant when it said, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain. I will declare the LORD’s decree. He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I’ve become your Father.’” (Psalm 2:6-7). They had to figure out the identity of this Davidic king who God declared was His Son, a Son who would rule the nations.
In the first century this Psalm was part of Jewish Scriptures. We know this because the Qumran scrolls of the Psalms date back two hundred years before Jesus and these manuscripts include these words. The debate continues between Jews and Christians over whether or not a Jew named Jesus is the man talked about in the Psalm who can be called the Son of God. Soon after the zealot Saul saw Jesus on the Damascus road he was persuasively arguing that Jesus was God’s Son, the Messiah.
“Saul was with the followers of Jesus in Damascus several days. And immediately he was proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. All those hearing him were amazed and saying, ‘Isn’t this the one who wreaked havoc against those calling on this name? And didn’t he come here to tie them up and bring them to the priests in Jerusalem?’ But Saul became even more persuasive, confounding the Jews living in Damascus, proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” - Acts 9:19-22
In his Gospel Luke showed us that the demons knew Jesus’ identity as God’s Son (Lk. 4:41), and in his trial before the Sanhedrin Jesus stated that he was the Messiah, the Son of God (Lk. 22:66-68). The Sanhedrin disagreed and this is why they handed him over to be executed as a blasphemer. In Acts Saul starts out strongly agreeing with the Sanhedrin that Jesus was a blasphemer, but then he saw the resurrected Jesus and from then on persuasively argued that Jesus was God’s Son, the Messiah. Each of us has to decide which side we believe was right.
LORD, today many view both Judaism and Christianity as culture and religion. Help us see that in the first century Saul argued in synagogues in Damascus as a Jew with Jews that Jesus was the fulfillment of Psalm 2. Open hearts and move many to agree with Paul about Jesus’ identity.
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