The Glory of Sonship
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).
Of all the followers of Jesus during His earthly ministry, there was only one for whom Jesus declared a deep, abiding love. That was John. He was the one disciple who had a true revelation of the glory of Jesus’ sonship.
He was the one who said of Jesus, “and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, emphasis added).
In verse 12, the word children, in the original language is teknon, speaking of children in the literal or figurative sense. Jesus, however, is never spoken of as Teknon in Scripture except by His mother, Mary. To her, Jesus was her Child.
All other Scripture references of Jesus refer to Him as the Son or Huios, denoting His character and mature nature, which was a reflection of His Father. He was Mary’s Teknon but the Father’s Huios. Paul states in Romans 8:19 that the earth is groaning for the manifestation of the sons or huios of God.
While we enter the kingdom of God as children, we are not to remain children. We are admonished to grow and mature into genuine sons. Furthermore, we are to grow in the glory of His sonship as we are transformed into the image and likeness of the Son of God, Himself (Romans 8:29).
The Western church fosters entertainment over transformation—an environment that lends itself to servants rather than sons. We need more mature sons!
John said that the disciples “beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Glory describes the appearance, form, or aspect of a person that catches our attention and commands our recognition.
All created things have been given a unique expression of the Father’s glory. Just as the sun, moon, and stars have a unique glory of God, so man has the unique glory of the Son. John beheld the person of Jesus and perceived the glory of His sonship.
It commanded John’s recognition; and as he gazed upon this man he could only conclude one thing: This is the Son of God! For us to become true sons of God, we also must have a revelation of the glory of sonship.
The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Son (sonship)
The kingdom of God is all about the glory of the Son. Colossians 1:13 teaches that we have been delivered from the “power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
When we receive Christ as our Savior, we are immediately translated into the kingdom of the Son and seated at the table of the Lord. We are also given immediate access to the eternal realm of the Son. When we behold Him, it commands our recognition that He is the glorious Son of the living God.
As a Son, Jesus shared and demonstrated the truth of His glory. He spoke the truth of His Father and exercised the Father’s authority. He shared the gospel of the Father’s kingdom and demonstrated its power. He followed all that the Father revealed to Him and released the eternal kingdom into the temporal world.
The Father has purposed that the glory of His Son is to reign today through us. We are not only to be carriers, but also releasers of His glory.
We have been ordained by the Father to reign, to rule, and to have dominion in the earth now through the manifestation of the glory of the Son who lives inside us.
My friend, Simon Purvis, states, “The reigning presence of God is the kingdom of God.” We have been ordained by the Father to reign, to rule, and to have dominion in the earth now through the manifestation of the glory of the Son who lives inside us.
That is the glory of sonship. It first begins when we allow the glory of the Son to have full rights to our hearts, souls, and minds. The glory then flows through us to touch and change the lives of others and ultimately reshape the culture around us. It is a work completely of the Son. Christ in us is indeed the hope of His glory (Colossians 1:27, paraphrased).
Kiss the Son
No king in history compared to David. He was recorded as “a man after (God’s) own heart” (Acts 13:22). Besides King Jesus, David was the greatest king to ever live. His premiere attribute was having a revelation of the glory of the Lord. No one compared to David in his ability to worship and seek the face of the Lord. His strength in worship enabled him to govern righteously in the earth.
David penned the following in Psalm 2:10-12: “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
To kiss the son is a metaphor that means to respect, honor, and pay homage to one who is superior. In ancient times, one would literally kiss a king’s feet to demonstrate honor.
Proverbs 24:26 states, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips” (NIV). To kiss the Son is to demonstrate the highest respect and honor to the Son of glory. It is an expression of our covenant union with Jesus. It also expresses that we are partakers of His glory.
We receive Him unto ourselves and grow relationally with Him. We surrender our character and nature to Him and, thereby, share His kingly authority and display the glory of His sonship as true sons.
Years ago, I worked for a cardiologist named Thomas Smitherman at the VA Medical Center in Dallas. Not only was he a brilliant physician and medical researcher, but he was also a man of excellence in his manner of life. I began working for him in a business relationship as a research nurse, only to depart from him as a friend and admirer once the research project was completed.
Through the years that I served with Dr. Smitherman, I closely studied how he conducted himself as a physician and a person. I could tell what he was thinking about any given matter at any given time. I grew to love him as a person and emulate him as a role model. Because I represented him in the medical center, it was important to me to be a reflection of his nature and character.
Over time, I grew in maturity to the point where I carried a weight of his authority simply because I represented him as his associate and knew him so intimately. When he needed something for our research project, I could easily obtain it because everyone in the VA Medical Center knew whom I represented. I also learned never to misuse this blessing for personal gain.
While servants are given permission to speak for their masters, sons are given the authority to legislate the heart of the Father.
This time in my life revealed to me how we are to walk with the Son. Our walk represents a covenant union where we begin relationally as servants and grow into the true character and nature of the Son Himself. We transform into ambassadors who represent the Son of glory as a son.
While servants are given permission to speak for their masters, sons are given the authority to legislate the heart of the Father. Sons not only know the Word, they also know the ways of the Father. Sons carry the full weight of the Father’s authority to attain all that He desires yet realize that this power must never be abused.
As I mentioned earlier, we have been given a seat at the Lord’s Table. We have been given access to the Father’s throne. We have been given the covenant right to grow into full maturity as a son and become true ambassadors to carry the full weight of the authority and power of the Son.
The purpose of our roles as ambassadors is to effect righteous change in the world where we are to shine as lights to lost humanity. The Father has kept nothing back from us; we have all that is needed to become a Son of His glory. We are not waiting on Him; He is waiting on us!