WHEN did Jesus KNOW he was the Son of God?
Did he ever DOUBT his own identity?
Q. Did Jesus know, without a doubt, he was the SON OF GOD? Was there ever a time when Jesus DOUBTED who he was? When did Jesus find out his TRUE identity?
(Submitted by: Shelli)
A. Jesus Himself had supreme faith, so we shouldn't think He had any doubts about His own identity. Notice Peter's confidence in identifying who Jesus was in Matthew 16:
"When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'
"Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.' " (Matthew 16:13-17, NKJV)
Although various ideas existed as to who Jesus was, he himself knew His true identity. God blessed Peter by revealing to him this identity and allowed him to proclaim it to the other disciples.
One never sees any self-doubt Jesus may have had about His identity. His hesitation in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-39), which concerned His temptation to want the cup of His sacrifice to pass by, wasn't about His identity or a kind of self-doubt. Since Jesus was also a prophet, He had direct knowledge of God that most humans never have had. Therefore, given that knowledge, He didn't need faith to know about God the way we do, since we never had a direct vision of God as He did before the incarnation. (That is, before being put into the Virgin Mary's womb).
Jesus had NO DOUBT regarding his identity as the Messiah
when he testified before the Sanhedrin:
"And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, 'Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?' But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, 'Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' Jesus said, 'I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.' " (Mark 14:60-62, see Daniel 7:13 for the Old Testament text Jesus was alluding to).
The Sanhedrin found, is Jesus' statement regarding who he truly was, an excuse for condemning Him to death. It's problematic to think Jesus would be uncertain about this when it cost Him His life, by confessing His identity as the Messiah in this situation.
One interesting speculation that can't be definitely proven concerns when Jesus was first self-enlightened to know He was God and the Son of God. After all, as He grew up, it doesn't seem plausible He always knew that He was God, such as when He was three years old (see Luke 2:52). It could be when He was twelve years old and got "overlooked" when His family left Jerusalem after the Passover Feast that He became self-aware of His Deity (see John 1:1, 14). They found Him answering questions in the temple and amazing the teachers there about how learned He was at such a young age. He commented to His human parents Joseph and Mary, "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49). It may be this was the first time Jesus felt a mission from God was revealed to Him. It is possible from this point forward He knew He would eventually be crucified, which is a most gruesome thought indeed.
Written by: Eric Snow