Like unto, equal to, partaking of another’s likeness (not to be confused with the word “infant,” which is unfortunately translated “child” many times).
- The Jews understood that when Jesus called God “His Father” and Himself “ a Son of God” He was making Himself equal to God, because son means “like unto.”
John 5:18 (KJV) Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
- Jesus defines a child (offspring) as someone who does the same as someone else. Jesus told these people that Abraham was not their father because they did not do works like unto Abraham. Jesus said that God was not their father, because they did not love Jesus the way the Father does. Also, Jesus said that the devil was indeed their father, because they did the same deeds as the devil! For someone to be your father, and you their child, this means you are like them — like father, like son.
John 8:39-45 (KJV) They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham [like unto him]. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham [therefore they are not children]. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me [because this is what God does]: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do [doing likewise with the devil]. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not [like their father].
- Whenever Paul imparted his faith to someone else’s mind, he would call them a “son” of his faith, because they partook of the likeness of Paul’s mind.
1 Timothy 1:2 (KJV) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Paul also called a man named “Onesimus his son that he gave birth to in prison, because Paul imparted his faith to him — even though he was of no physical relation to Paul.
Philemon 1:10 (KJV) I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
- When someone is a physical descendent of Abraham, they are called children of his flesh (share in the likeness of his flesh). Whenever someone believes like Abraham did (Genesis 15:6), they are also called children of Abraham — specifically children of his faith.
Romans 9:8 (KJV) That is, They which are the children of the flesh [share in the likeness of Abrahams flesh], these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise [those who share his belief in the Gospel] are counted for the seed.
Galatians 3:7 (KJV) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham [like his faith].
- Abraham’s belief in Jesus was the source of his son Isaac’s faith, and his grandson Jacob’s faith. Abraham passed down his faith to them. And so, even though Isaac was Jacob’s father, God calls Abraham Jacob’s father instead, because Abraham was the initial source of Jacob’s faith.
Genesis 28:13 (KJV) And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said [to Jacob], I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac [not referred to as father]…
- Jesus healed a woman in a demonic bondage on the Sabbath. He refers to her symbolically as an ox or a donkey being “released” (from bondage) from a stall on the sabbath day. He called her an ox or donkey because those words mean “servant” (see Ox/Donkey definition). Jesus was recognizing her as a servant of God, keeping the New Covenant commandments of God.
- And because she kept the New Covenant commandments of God, she is referred to as a daughter of Abraham, keeping faith like Abraham did.
Luke 13:14-16 (NKJV) But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham [believing, servant of God], whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”