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A Baha'i perspective on Jesus as the 'Son of God'

Discussion in 'Baha'i Faith DIR' started by Dawnofhope, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Aug 5, 2014
    The Baha'i Faith is arguably the newest of the world religions having been founded by Baha'u'llah (Glory of God) 1817-1892.

    He taught that there is One God whose essence is unknowable.

    Humanity is one, and all the main religions are inspired by God.

    Revelation | What Bahá’ís Believe

    Bahá'í Faith and the unity of religion - Wikipedia

    Baha'u'llah speaks of the underlying purpose of religion:

    "O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men…Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure."

    And the unity of religion:

    "…the Bearers of the trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Bearers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the Celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they therefore are regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness."

    The Challenge therefore is to appreciate what all the recognised religions have in common and better understand the apparent contradictions or inconsistencies. Shoghi Effendi, the leader of the Baha'i Faith from 1921-1957 stated in regards to Christ:

    "As to the position of Christianity, let it be stated without any hesitation or equivocation that its divine origin is unconditionally acknowledged, that the Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted, that the divine inspiration of the Gospel is fully recognized, that the reality of the mystery of the Immaculacy of the Virgin Mary is confessed, and the primacy of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, is upheld and defended. The Founder of the Christian Faith is designated by Bahá’u’lláh as the “Spirit of God,” is proclaimed as the One Who “appeared out of the breath of the Holy Ghost...” Shoghi Effendi

    How does the designation 'Son of God' assist us to understand the Spiritual Reality of Christ AND the underlying unity of religion?

    Lets look at the key verses:

    In Matthew 1:18-25 it is written:
    "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
    Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ”The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-- which means, “God with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus

    We know from the Baha'i writings that the virgin birth is upheld as a Divine mystery.

    We also consider
    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that however believes in Him should not perish and have everlasting life." John 3:16

    This is important to emphasise Jesus' Uniqueness and Greatness in contrast with the quote we are all sons of God.

    The phrase Sons of God and Children of God are used many times through both the Old and New Testaments.

    Sons of God: Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4, Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7, Matthew 5:9, Luke 20:36, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:19, Galatians 3:26

    Children of God: John 1:12, John 11:52, Romans 8:16, Romans 8:16, Romans 8:21, Romans 9:8

    The significance of John 3:16 in contrast to these other verses along with the story of the virgin birth clearly sets Jesus apart from ordinary men. So the 'Son of God' designation highlights the Uniqueness and Greatness of Jesus when compared to the rest of humanity.

    However other religions may also have different designations such as Moses being the 'Friend of God', Muhammad being the 'Seal of the Prophets' or Baha'u'llah being the 'Glory of God'. These different designations may serve a similar purpose to highlight the Uniqueness of a particular Man who Manifests God's Greatness with a Revelation that transforms communities, traditions, morals, and even civilisations.

    Therefore the 'Son of God' designation of Jesus is consistent with the underlying unity in all the Great Prophets or Manifestations of God.
    #1 Dawnofhope, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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