from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read John 1:1-18
In the Old Testament, we first hear God calling Himself Father in relationship to the whole people of Israel. Then when the nation of Israel is formed and becomes a monarchy, God’s fatherhood is applied specifically to the king. God blessed the king as His “son” in order to bless all His people. This father-son relationship began with King David, then was extended to all David’s descendents on the throne. It reached all the way to Messiah, the Ultimate King. He would be a Son of David, and in that sense a Son of God, like His predecessors.
However, when Jesus Messiah arrived, He proved to be God’s Son in a deeper and richer sense than anyone had dreamed. He had not been created by God, then adopted as His Son, as David and all his descendents had been. He was the only-begotten Son of God.
John 1 affirms that Father and Son were together at the very beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (vv.1-2, NASB)
There was never a time when the Father existed that the Son did not also exist. The Nicene Creed states their relationship well:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
The term “only begotten” refers to a son or daughter who is “unique,” “one of a kind”. John uses it to describe Jesus’ father-son relationship with God.
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:14, 18, NASB)
Because Jesus had spent an eternity in intimate, undivided fellowship with the Father, He revealed Him to us in a unique, complete, and beautiful way.