The Son of God
December 20, 2021
Caesar Augustus’ uncle was Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar, of course, is a giant in the history of the Roman Empire. After his death, the Senate of Rome officially deified Julius Caesar giving him the status of a god. He had adopted Caesar Augustus so even though Julius Caesar was his uncle, he was also his adopted son. Upon the deification of his adopted father, Caesar Augustus then began to refer to himself along with all Roman citizens, the Son of God.
The angel told Mary her baby would be called the Son of God. And people continued to call Christ the Son of God throughout His ministry. The seeming serendipity of it all is actually purposeful on God’s part. He was telling the whole world that there is only one Son of God.
Like the Romans, I believe as Americans, we are prone to look for mere humans to give us life abundant. The level of intensity around elections would suggest that Americans are looking for one man, one woman, or one government to create a utopian lifestyle for all of us. Unofficially, when we lean on someone other than the true Son of God, we are, in a sense, deifying that person. We are crediting those persons with being able to do what only God can do.
It doesn’t have to be a politician. There are people close to us that we also look for to give us what only God can. We want them to create peace, prosperity, and potential, but they are able to do this only as much as God enables them. We do it with parents, spouses, boyfriends, and co-workers.
An important spirituality we have forgotten in our Western culture is that people can not bring you joy. Sure, they can make you happy for a little while, but other times, they will be difficult, inconsiderate, mean. In those times, if you don’t have Christ, you will not have joy.
In America especially, we have deified materialism. We look to retail purchases to build our self-esteem, to give us a sense of purpose, but in the end, cars break down, and clothes go out of style.
When the angel gave this title to Mary’s baby, it was to contrast the theocratic idealism of the people who had elevated Caesar Augustus to the Son of God. In the end, there is only one Son of God. His name is Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, help me to never put my hope for joy, love, and peace in people or things. Remind me this season there is only one Son of God. Amen.