Jesus is called "the Son of the Most High (God)" (definite article the), as if it were a title that belongs exclusively to him:

30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” [Luke 1:30-33, ESV]

6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” [Mark 5:6-7, ESV]

A very similar title, "the Son of the living God", is said of Jesus in Matthew 16:15-17:

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered 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 16:15-17, ESV]

However, in Psalm 82 the title is applied to multiple individuals (who by the way are regarded as gods):

6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” [Psalms 82:6-7, ESV]

Question: What does it mean to be (a/the) Son of the Most High (God)? Is there any difference between the sonship of Jesus (Luke 1:30-33; Mark 5:6-7; Matthew 16:15-17) and the sonship of the gods, sons of the Most High (Psalms 82:6)? Does the fact that Jesus is called the Son of the Most High (definite article the) denote that his sonship is in some sense special/unique?

  • David in Psalms is contrasting God and Man.
    – Adam
    Apr 20, 2021 at 9:41

3 Answers 3


The Bible is clear. Jesus is the one an only, unique Son of God. This is confirmed at John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His "only' begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

John 1:18, "No man has seen God at any time; the "only" begotten Son/God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." John 3:18, "because he has not believed in the name of the "only" begotten Son of God."

And 1 John 4:9, "By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His "only" begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him."

That would mean by definition, that God did not beget Satan and everyone in human history as His "sons." Moreover, while the Bible does speak of Christians as the children (or "sons") of God, this relationship is clearly and repeatedly described as the result of "adoption" by faith in Christ, not a a literal descendant from the procreative activities of God.

Romans 8:15, "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of "adoption" that we are able to cry out, "Abba! Father!." The Apostle Paul repeats the condition of sonship with God at Galatians 4:4-7.

"But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, vs5, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the "adoption" as sons. vs6, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into hearts crying. "Abba! Father!" Vs7, Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son then an heir through God."

Now, it was Jesus Christ Himself who brought up Psalm 82:6. He "DID NOT" bring up this verse to prove that He's a Son of God like the rest of us or like the unjust/corrupt judges (vs2).

Truthfully, you bringing up Psalm 82:6 has no bearing/connection or even "context" (i.e. blasphemy from John 10:33) as it relates to Jesus Christ being the one and only begotten Son of God in my opinion.

So why did Jesus bring up Psalm 82:6? Jesus is turning the tables on the Jews and showing them that they are inconsistent. He's taking the Jew's statement about Him blaspheming to its logical conclusion. In effect, Jesus is saying, "If you say that I am blaspheming, you must also hold that God is blaspheming because He said to those by whom the word of God came, "ye are gods.

At John 10:36, "Your accusing me of blaspheming because I said, "I am the Son of God?" If anything, Jesus' response served to reinforce to the Jews that Jesus "though only a human being" in their mind was making Himself "God." Notice that Jesus does not take back His statement and clearly draws a distinction between Himself and those unjust judges.

  • I like this answer (+1). The only thing that is preventing me from accepting it is that it would be great if you included an explanation of what you understand by "you are gods, sons of the Most High" in the context of Psalm 82:6. You say that it has no bearing or connection with the sonship of Jesus, therefore the concept of sonship in Psalm 82:6 must mean something different to you, right?
    – user38524
    Apr 20, 2021 at 22:47
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator I left your request out on purpose. I base this on the fact that Jesus being the "Son of God" in the context of John 10:30, "I and the Father We are one" has to do with His deity/nature with the Father. The Jews completely understood what Jesus meant, that's why they accused Him of blasphemy at John 10:33. They clearly stated, "You being a man, make Yourself out God.." I will explain the response of Jesus per your request in the body of my initial answer.
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 20, 2021 at 22:56
  • "Notice that Jesus does not take back His statement and clearly draws a distinction between Himself and those unjust judges." - what is such a distinction?
    – user38524
    Apr 20, 2021 at 23:09
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator The difference is that the judges "ARE NOT" ontological deities. They were appointed by God to judge affairs but (again) there were unjust and corrupt by not judging fairly and will die like the men that they are. They are not, "The Son of the Most High" as is Jesus Christ. Hope this helps, if not ask me anything.
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 20, 2021 at 23:19

The Son and Children of God

I'm not certain this entirely addresses your question, but the New Testament speaks of those who have been baptized into Christ as "wearing Christ" or "putting on Christ" through water baptism (Gal. 3:27).

This is significant because when God (as @Dottard explained, the Most High God: the Father) looks at the obediently faithful of Christ, He sees His Son rather than us. The following passages speak of our relationship to the Most High God, just as Christ is "the Son."

Verse Text
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Luke 20:36 "[For] neither can [the sons of this age] die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection..."
John 1:12 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name..."
Romans 8:14 "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."
Rom. 8:16 "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God..."
Rom. 8:19 "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God."
Galatians 3:26 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."
Galatians 4:7 "Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
2 Cor. 6:18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty."
Philippians 2:15 "[So] that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world..."
1 John 3:1 "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are."
1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is."
1 John 3:10 "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God..."

There is a great article on the clause "[You] are gods" (Psalm 82:6) on the GotQuestions website:

Psalm 82:1 says, “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the gods.” It is clear from the next three verses that the word “gods” refers to magistrates, judges, and other people who hold positions of authority and rule. Calling a human magistrate a “god” indicates three things: 1) he has authority over other human beings, 2) the power he wields as a civil authority is to be feared, and 3) he derives his power and authority from God Himself, who is pictured as judging the whole earth in verse 8.

This use of the word “gods” to refer to humans is rare, but it is found elsewhere in the Old Testament. For example, when God sent Moses to Pharaoh, He said, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7:1). This simply means that Moses, as the messenger of God, was speaking God’s words and would therefore be God’s representative to the king. The Hebrew word Elohim is translated “judges” in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8, 9, and 28.

Both Adam and Christ were sons of God Most High. Adam was directly created by Him (no parents) while Christ was born of the Holy Spirit (spiritually God) and Mary (physically human), thus He could be an Intercessor between the Most High God and the human race:

1 Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..."

Christ, however, was a sinless human being (as well as spiritually God) and was, therefore, the Son of God. Since God exists outside of time, He knows all that will ever take place in our finite world. Author C.S. Lewis once articulated this point:

You cannot fit Christ's earthly life in Palestine into any time-relations with His life as God beyond all space and time. It is really, I suggest, a timeless truth about God that human nature, and the human experience of weakness and sleep and ignorance, are somehow included in His whole divine life. This human life in God is from our point of view a particular period in the history of our world (from the year A.D. one till the Crucifixion). We therefore imagine it is also a period in the history of God's own existence. But God has no history. He is too completely and utterly real to have one. For, of course, to have a history means losing part of your reality (because it had already slipped away into the past) and not yet having another part (because it is still in the future): in fact having nothing but the tiny little present, which has gone before you can speak about it... Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow... But suppose God is outside and above the Time-line. In that case, what we call "tomorrow" is visible to Him in just the same way as what we call "today." All the days are "Now" for Him. He does not remember you doing things yesterday; He simply sees you doing them, because, though you have lost yesterday. He has not. -- Mere Christianity

Here is a crude illustration, based on what Lewis wrote, depicting the way God the Father sees all of human history. Point A represents Creation (and Adam) and Point B represents the incarnation of Christ:

My reason for attempting to depict God and timelessness (eternity) is that God always knew what Christ (God incarnate) would do on earth, just as He knows all that we will do in our respective lifetimes. There are no surprises to the Most High God, the Father. Thus, Christ would be the Son to God Most High as a simple matter of fact.


"Most High" is simply another title of God the Father (Acts 7:48) because we have:

  • Heb 7:1 - Melchizedek was king of Salem and "priest of God Most High"
  • Mark 5:7, Luke 1:32, 8:28 - Jesus is called "Son of the Most High"
  • Luke 1:35 - the Holy Spirit administers the "power of the Most High"
  • Acts 16:17 - the apostles called "servants of the Most High"
  • Luke 6:35 - Christians are called "children of the Most High"
  • Luke 1:76 - John the Baptist called a "prophet of the Most High"

Predictably, the NT title of "Most High" comes from the OT, Dan 4:24, 5:18, 7:25, Deut 32:8, Gen 14:20, Ps 9:2, 46:4, 47:2, 57:2, 77:10, 78:17, 83:18, 91:9, 92:1, Num 24:16, etc, etc.

In his comments on Mark 5:7, Ellicott offers these observations:

(7) Thou Son of the most high God.—This is the first occurrence of the name in the New Testament, and is therefore a fit place for a few words as to its history. As a divine name “the Most High God” belonged to the earliest stage of the patriarchal worship of the one Supreme Deity. Melchizedek appears as the priest of “the Most High God” (Genesis 14:18). It is used by Balaam as the prophet of the wider Semitic monotheism (Numbers 24:16), by Moses in the great psalm of Deuteronomy 32:8. In the Prophets and the Psalms it mingles with the other names of God (Isaiah 14:14; Lamentations 3:35; Daniel 4:17; Daniel 4:24; Daniel 4:32; Daniel 4:34; Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:22; Daniel 7:25; Psalm 7:17; Psalm 9:2; Psalm 18:13; Psalm 46:4, and elsewhere). In many of these passages it will be seen that it was used where there was some point of contact in fact or feeling with nations which, though acknowledging one Supreme God, were not of the stock of Abraham. The old Hebrew word (Elion) found a ready equivalent in the Greek ὕψιστος (hypsistos), which had already been used by Pindar as a divine name. That word accordingly appeared frequently in the Greek version of the Old Testament, and came into frequent use among Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Jews, occurring, e.g., not less than forty times in the book Ecclesiasticus. It was one of the words which, in later as in earlier times, helped to place the Gentile and the Jew on a common ground. As such, it seems, among other uses, to have been frequently used as a formula of exorcism; and this, perhaps, accounts for its being met with here and in Luke 8:28, Acts 16:17, as coming from the lips of demoniacs. It was the name of God which had most often been sounded in their ears.

Thus, while all Christians are "children/sons of the Most High", Jesus was "The Son of the Most High". This is consistent the New Testament’s repeated idea of Christ being our brother (Heb 2:11-13, 17, Ps 22:22, Isa 8:17, 18, Matt 12:48, 49, John 20:17, Rom 8:29).

  • Your answer explains very well what "the Most High (God)" means, which is great, but it looks like you forgot the first part of the title in question: "Son of the Most High (God)". In the case of Jesus, he is called "the Son of the Most High", as if he was the only Son. If you read Luke 1:30-33 and Mark 5:6-7 only, you would get the sense that this is a title that belongs exclusively to Jesus. However, in Psalm 82 the same title is applied to multiple individuals, which appears to contradict our previous conclusion. How come?
    – user38524
    Apr 20, 2021 at 14:31
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator - this is one of the many things we share with Jesus - He was THE Son of God - you are s son of God.
    – Dottard
    Apr 20, 2021 at 20:46

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