DOES GOD HAVE A SON?
It is inappropriate to view God materialistically. His is not a human or any other sort of created being. The expression of the Father and the Son does not mean that God got married and gave birth to another god. God is without gender. The Father gives birth to the Son as the sun gives birth to its rays or as reason is born of the human soul, and brightness from light. The Son proceeds as light out of light, when you light a candle from a candle you say that this light is a son of that one, although both are one light!
This concept can be clarified through references found in the Holy Bible.
- The Holy Bible refers to the Son as “the Word” or “the Logos.” This means “Uttered Mind” or “Logical Utterance.” He is also called God’s Wisdom. There is no differentiation between the two words, “the Son” and the “Uttered Mind.” The Holy Bible by calling Him the Son assured us that the Son was born of the Father. To assure us of Their unity, He was also called the “Logos.” In a like manner, we do not refer to a person as two beings imply because he/she possesses a soul capable of internal words.
We must examine His sonship from a spiritual perspective. St. Athanasius said: “We repeat again that it is necessary not to compare the Divine birth with that of humans. We cannot think of the Son as a part of God. Also, the Divine birth does not include any emotions whatsoever, for God is not human. Humans give birth to what is changeable, but for God it is not so. God is not made up of parts and does not change; the Son does not cause Him to separate in parts nor change.
This is clearly documented in the Holy Bible. The Word of God is the Son, and the Son is the Word of God and His Wisdom. The Word or the Wisdom is not created and He is not a part of God. He is not a generation that can generate. In the Holy Bible, both expressions exist. It speaks of the “Son” to acknowledge the true natural birth of His nature so at the same time, we do not confuse this birth with that of humans. He is also called “the Word,” “the Wisdom” and “the Brightness” to teach us that His birth does not change. It is eternal and worthy of God.
- Why is He called “the Son”? The relation between God and the Logos is certainly beyond our limited comprehension. The expression “the Son” or the “Only-Begotten Son” is used so that we might begin to understand it on our own terms. He originates from God the Father and is one with Him in nature. So that we, when united to Him, enjoy the Sonship through grace as a free divine gift.
We value this title because in it we find the abundance of gifts that God has granted us. Through the Holy Spirit we are united with the Son and thus we become sons of God.
- It is said of God that He is seated on a throne and that He talks, hears, and sees, although God does not have a body to sit, or ears to hear, nor eyes to see. God possesses these capabilities in a very different way than we do. Therefore, is it not more than likely that His Son is very different than our human conception of a son.
God Himself declared, “This is My beloved Son,” (Mt 3:17) and when the chief priest asked Him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus answered, “I am,” (Mk 14:61,62). The angel who announced His incarnation said of Him, “Son of the Highest,” (Lk 1:32).
Only he and no other can say, “No one comes to the Father except through Me,” (Jn 14:6); “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” (Jn 14:9).
St. Paul the Apostle made a clear distinction between Him and all the prophets when he said: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” (He 1:1).
4. The eternal birth of the Son reveals the loving nature of God because of his infinite love, He begot the Son and shared with Him the same divine nature, being one with Him. It is an incomparable love, for the Absolute Being gives Himself and His nature. This love was revealed to us in a way in which we could comprehend it.
This unique birth eliminates the idea of God being far removed from creation, for He is able to give. Every active substance/being must produce something. Fire gives birth to light and heat. The radioactive component of elements produces atomic power. The same can be said of the human mind, which gives birth to thoughts and ideas. It is not possible then that God be described as an unproductive being. Since eternity, He has brought forth His Word, light of light, a brightness of His glory, that is why St. Paul the Apostle says of Him that He is “the brightness of His glory,” (Heb 1:3). It is impossible to imagine a light without brightness. Truly the light that does not give light is darkness.
There has been no time when the Father existed without the Son. We cannot accept the idea that God is unable to give. As the sun cannot exist without its rays and its heat, the Father was never alone without the Son and the Holy Spirit generating from Him.
- It is written that Jesus Christ is “the Brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” (Heb 1:3) “He is the image if the invisible God,” (Col 1:15), just as the spoken word is the image of the invisible mind. But the brightness of the light is eternal, and the Son Himself is certainly eternal. As the light was always there, it is clear that the brightness has always been there with it. The existence of the brightness denotes the existence of the light and so there is no light that would not give light. The brightness shines before Him from eternity and born of Him always, shining in His presence. It is said “I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Pro 8:30). So the Father, as well as the Son, is eternal because He is the Light of light.
St. Dionysios of Alexandria
- If the nature of God was not fruitful in Itself or if it is barren –as some claim- He would be like a light that does not light or as a dry stream, aren’t they ashamed when they talk about His power, His creation potential and then deny what is He in nature?
Pope Athanasius the Apostolic
- What do we think in light other than God the Father? Hasn’t His brightness (Heb. 1:3) existed with Him? It is impossible to think of a light without brightness, and if this is true then there was no time when the Son was not a Son.