Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God the Son Incarnate (Matthew 1:21-23, Luke 1:35, John 3:16).
The Only Begotten Son
Scripture teaches that Jesus is the only begotten Son: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus is unique because he is God the Father’s only begotten Son. God the Son is the only begotten Son from all eternity (see John 1). For this reason, we believe Jesus is God the Son.
Jesus, however, isn’t only God the Son. God the Son became incarnate; he was, as the Apostles’ Creed summarizes, “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary.” Thus, Jesus is true God by nature, and Jesus is true man by nature.
It is evident from John 3:16, Matthew 1:21-23. and Luke 1:35 that Jesus had two natures, both human and divine. God sent his only begotten Son, that is, God the Son, to earth. God the Son was sent to earth and took on human flesh; he was conceived by a miracle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and he was born of a true human, the virgin Mary, and this was in fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 7:14).
It is obvious that Jesus had a true human nature because he had a true human mother; and humans–like plants and every other living creature–each bring forth only their kind. So, Christians are not projecting Mary’s maternity upon Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and that she was his natural mother, not just because of passages like Matthew 1:21-23, but also because Jesus himself clearly believed, knew, and testified that he had a human mother in Mary (see John 19:26-67). This means that when Christians confess that Jesus’ mother was Mary, they are merely thinking Jesus’ thoughts after him. When we say that Jesus had a human nature, it means that he had a human soul and a human body and a human will. Jesus is fully man.
Jesus is unique in his uniqueness. Jesus is fully man, and fully God. Jesus is fully God and unique — he is the only begotten Son of God. Jesus is fully man and unique — his conception was by the Spirit, born to a virgin (unique!). For these reasons, the fully human Jesus is called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
God the Son Incarnate (God-man)
Jesus is God the Son and has a divine nature. Jesus is the son of Mary and a has a human nature. Jesus is God the Son Incarnate: Jesus is one person and has two natures, that is, Jesus is the God-man.
Firstborn Among Brethren
Jesus is unique, as mentioned above, because he is God the Father’s only begotten Son: Jesus is the eternal Son of the eternal Father. The Father, however, has other children. Scripture teaches that believers are also the children of God. Jesus, however, is the only eternal Son of the eternal Father. You and I, we are sons and daughters of God, but we are not children according to eternity, but rather we are the adopted children of God by the grace of God!
God adopted children in Jesus by engrafting them into the eternal, only-begotten Son; believers, with the instrument, the gift of saving faith, believe that God is their Father for the sake of Christ. The Apostle Paul understood this distinction between God the Son and God’s other children, see Romans 8:29-30:
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
God the Son Incarnate – Our Older Brother?
Believers are brethren. We are the children of God. Jesus, however, is firstborn. That means he is our older brother.
And Jesus is the perfect older brother. He is just like our Father: he loves us, he cares for us, he is compassionate towards us, he protects us, he shares all that is his with us, e.g., his inheritance and kingdom, but most importantly, he shares and gifts to us his own Spirit! And without the Spirit we would not know our brethren–especially Jesus-nor our Heavenly Father: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:15-17a).