Bible Studies > Self-Portraits of God: Lesson 3

Self-Portraits of God

Studies in the Life and Work of Jesus

Lesson 3: Snap-shots in Titles

I have begotten you


It is said of Jesus, in Him was Life, original, unborrowed, underived. If this is true, then what does the phrase, “I have begotten you”, mean, when it is applied to Jesus? Does it not mean, “I have fathered you.”? Or, does it have some hidden meaning like the phrase only-begotten? What is the message which this title-portrait carries, or, to ask the question a different way, when the picture was taken, what was the subject the camera was aimed that? What is the picture taken of?

First—yes, this phrase is accurately translated, and, yes, this phrase means I have fathered you. But is Jesus not one of the members of the Godhead? Yes, again!

Notice John chapter one.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (John 1:1,2).

Proverbs adds to our thinking, as One brought up with Him! (See chapter 8, verse 30—Hebrew; minion) Sooo! What does this title reveal as a self-portrait of God?!

This title is one of the fascinating studies found in Scripture. You will enjoy this concept, and maybe be a little surprised at the picture it presents, if you do not already know.

The Story

In the New Testament book titled Hebrews we are reading along about priests and the duties they were expected to be responsible for, and how one became a priest, and that no one made himself a priest, when the writer suddenly records that God said,

“You are My Son, Today I Have Begotten You.”

The question that immediately jumps out at us is, what day is today? On what day was the Son begotten?

The first thing that comes to mind in order to start to find an answer to this question is to look in the margin of the Bible to see if there is a reference to another passage where this concept appears; there is—Psalm 2:7.
This Psalm is a story passage, told by a third person, who is telling about a conversation as it is observed; and at the same time, the third person comments on the activities being observed, and also participates in the dialog. This section of verses, or paragraph, develops something like this:

Why do the nation’s rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth and their rulers set themselves and take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed (One chosen by or as if by divine election; Webster), saying, let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; that Lord shall hold them in derision.

Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:

COMMENTATOR’S REPORT of what the Lord actually said He did in response to the conflict over His anointed being recorded in these verses.

Yet have I set My king on My holy hill of Zion. (The anointed was made King by God in spite of the objections.)

COMMENTATOR’S QUESTION TO THE NEW KING—What was that document the Lord gave to you at your enthronement, and what did He say to you?


I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.

Now we have the answer to the question about what day “today” is, the day on which the Lord said, Today I have begotten You; it is the enthronement day, the day that the One divinely appointed to be king became king.

I heard your question. If the Lord could say to the new king, Today I have begotten You, on the day of His enthronement, could He not also say to Him, I have begotten You, on the day of another great event, such as the day of His resurrection, or the day that He became High Priest, if the Lord was the One bringing about all of those acts?

Another text! Paul was preaching about what God has said He would do for those who believe and respond to His promises, when he said (See Acts 13:33), and we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers—God has filled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

You are My Son, Today I Have Begotten You.

In the second Psalm, the day the king was begotten was the day of his becoming king; but here in Acts chapter 13 the day that Jesus was begotten was the day of His resurrection.

One more text. Hebrews 5:5.

So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was Him who said to Him: You are My Son, Today I Have Begotten You.


The phrase translated I have begotten you is a phrase that means I have begotten you, I have fathered you; I have caused you to become. Exactly what it is one has become has to be determined by the work one has been begotten to do. But it is always a work that is tied to one’s being a son. (Don’t forget that girls are brothers in Deuteronomy!)

The Portrait

This title is applied to the One begotten by the Father to be King, Priest, and Savior. Whereas this work involves making peace between the Father and those who fear, hate, or misunderstand Him, this picture is of the One who is the Father’s comrade (Hebrew—see Zachariah 13:7)—the Father’s Twin.

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