“The Son of the Father’s love,” by whom and for whom all things were created, is necessarily eternal. Coming into His creation, and to Israel in particular, He was “begotten” in time, to fulfil the promises made to His own people, Israel. His Name was therefore JESUS (Jehovah-Saviour), for He should “save His people from their sins.” He was “born King of the Jews.” The three direct uses of Psalm 2, as to His being “begotten” in time (Acts 13, Hebrews 1 and 5), show that Salvation, Kingship and Priesthood were in view. He was, however, personally THE SON of the Father’s love, the Creator, and could not be confined to the favoured nation only.
Psalm 2:7 speaks of Jehovah’s Son; Psalm 45:6 of God the Son (see Heb. 1:8). With His King and Zion specially in view, Jehovah said to His Son, “Thou art My Son; I this day have begotten Thee” (2:7). And, “Unto the Son, He said, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever” (Heb. 1:8; Ps. 45:6). The Father has put all things into the hands of the Son; and, not limited to Israel (now He is rejected), the believer on the Son has life eternal (John 3:36).
We cannot make too much of what the Holy Spirit would teach us concerning these words: “I this day have begotten Thee.” That the eternal Son of the Father should “come under law” (Gal. 4:4), being “begotten” in time of the honoured Virgin Mary, in such humble circumstances, may well arrest the lowly believer’s heart, although the finite mind falters at the stupendous miracle. That the High and Holy One who inhabits infinitude, should be “begotten,” as promised in ‘little’ Bethlehem Judah, may well explain that the Son (known only to the Father) is “meek and lowly in heart,” and encourage the believer to learn of Him—that the Creator Son should so come down to His sinful creatures truly magnifies His surpassing grace—that the Object of the Father’s eternal love, the Son, who is “the Eternal Life,” should so come near, to bring that love and life to us, may well make our souls rejoice—and that the Infinite One should so bring what is eternal to the finite ones makes us bless and praise Him.
We pause before Jehovah’s own words to His Son—“I this day have begotten Thee.” He was begotten to be Israel’s Saviour (as Acts 13:23, 33 explains). “’Thrones” had been created by the Son before that time (Col. 1:16); Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1) filled the principal one. Who guided the delay in his taxing “decree” till the due time for Jehovah’s “decree” arrived?—till the Virgin mother was to journey to the foretold spot?—till “that holy thing” to be called “Son of God” should be born of her there? and Jehovah’s word to His Son was fulfilled, “I this day have begotten Thee”? He shall be called “Son of the Highest” the angel had said to Mary (Luke 1:3), and “the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David.” The Son had made that throne as well as the others. He has the right to it by creation, redemption, recovery, and reconciliation also, and by Jehovah Elohim’s gift. Behold the wondrous sight! “The Son” to whom it is said, “Thy throne, O God, is to the age of the age” (Heb. 1:8, N.Tr.), now come right down to be born in a stable, to be cradled in a manger! “No room” in the world’s inn for the Creator of the universe! From the throne of universal greatness and majesty, He stoops in infinite love to a stable manger-cradle!—Jehovah’s “begotten,” He is the “child born,” the “Son” given, foretold by Isaiah 700 years before! and His five-fold Name then given is, “Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Who but the eternal Son could bear such a Name? Who else be Saviour, King and Priest? Zechariah cried, “He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne, and He shall be a Priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (chap. 6:13). Glory, glory to the “begotten” One of Jehovah, who will fill the “throne of His father David” for the thousand year-day, when “all nations shall call Him blessed.”
But of the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus demanded, “What think ye concerning the Christ? Whose Son is He?” If David’s, how came it that David called Him Lord? The proud questioners were finally silenced, but the common people were glad! Had He not in parable just spoken of being sent from another “country” (geographically, as one has said) to the vineyard of Israel; for the Owner “having therefore one beloved Son” sent “Him to them the last” (Mark 12:6)—God’s final resource, and best of all!—the “beloved Son,” who would bring out sinful man’s worst, but eventually bring in God’s best! “Whose Son is He?” was the Lord’s silencing question! The questions asked in Proverbs 30:4—“Who has ascended up into the heavens, and descended?” Who has established all the ends of the earth? “What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name, if thou knowest?”—are answered by that Son; who said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30, N.Tr.); and by the Spirit in Ephesians 4, “He that descended is the same also that ascended.”
That same glorious Person is “above all” we are told and is “before all,” but He has given ministry,—before He shines forth publicly as pre-eminent “over all,”—“until we all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Eph. 4:13). Those who seek to honour the Son may therefore take courage, for adverse blasts will be overruled by Him, deepening the heart’s desire to know Him better. The eternal Son is fully comprehended by the Father alone. Who else but the Infinite could comprehend the Infinite, but we are to “arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” How blessedly encouraging!
He is the Son, the Son of God, “called Son of God” as “begotten” in Bethlehem. He is “the Son of the Father” (2 John 3, John 17), the Son of the Father’s love (Col. 1:13). He is the Son of Man, “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). His own closing question was, “Whose Son is He?” By strict law, He was the Son of Joseph (in David’s royal line), “begotten” by God of the Virgin Mary (also in David’s line), He was the Son of Mary—“her firstborn Son” (Luke 2:7), “called Son of the Highest” (1:32), “called Son of God” (1:35). Taken to Egypt and brought back to Nazareth, Jehovah’s Son is called out of Egypt as He had said (Matt. 2:15), and He was “called a Nazarean,” as foretold (2:23, Isa. 11:1), not a Nazarene here. But, “Wonderful” is part of the fivefold Name of the “Son” given, and He has said from heaven to the assemblies, “I am the Root and Offspring of David. The proud may be silent, the lowly be glad, when He asks, “Whose Son is He?” but the true worshippers may well adore the Son of the Father’s love, by whom and for whom all things were created, and exult deeply that the Father fully knows the Son, in whom He finds His delight.
That such an One as He should in wondrous love come down so near to us might well intensify our longing to learn of Him. That such a voice uttered by the Father from the excellent glory should bid us “hear Him” might well cause us to do so. That the Holy Spirit the Comforter, is sent by the Son, and glorifies the Son (John 16:14) might well cause praise to fill our hearts and our lips, making us glad to heed Him restfully, and drink in His “words of eternal life.” The eternal Son has given to us eternal life, and feeds us with the “words of eternal life”, for He Himself is “the eternal life which was with the Father, and has been manifested” (1 John 1:2). Yea, blessed be God. 1 John 5:20 tells us of “His Son Jesus Christ, He is the true God and eternal life.” “Oh! come, let us adore Him.”
“God manifest, God seen and heard,
The heaven’s beloved one.”
The beloved apostle tells us of the harsh ecclesiastic who loved to have the pre-eminence. Diotrephes refused the last of the apostles, and cast out of the assembly those who received the brethren (3 John 10). “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He that does good is of God. He that does evil has not seen God”—Mark,—“SEEN GOD”—How “SEEN GOD”?—In the Son come down close to us in unfathomable love!—In the eternal Son—In “the Son of the Father’s love,” named, “The Image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15)—The invisible God visible in the Son—the Revealer of the Revealed. So He said, “I and the Father are one” and “he that has seen Me has seen the Father.” “He that does evil has not seen God.” The Lord said, “This is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes on Him, should have life eternal” (John 6:40).