The only begotten Son

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16 KJV)

The only begotten son showing an asian man with his adult son

Jesus is described above as the “only begotten Son” of God. But what does this mean? The words “only begotten” are a translation of the Greek word “monogenēs” which means “one of a kind, unique” as the ESV translators describe it(1). This term was often used for an only child or for something that is unique.

The description of Isaac in Heb. 11:17 as Abraham’s “only begotten son”clarifies the meaning of this phrase as used to describe Jesus in the John 3:16. However, as we all know, Isaac was not the only son of Abraham. In fact, Ismael was Abraham’s first son, and Abraham had other sons through Keturah(1 Chr. 1:32). However, Isaac “was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise” (2). Therefore though Abraham had many sons, Isaac was his “only begotten son.”

The NET Bible translators give us an excellent conclusion on this subject that “While all Christians are children of God, Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense”(2). God does not have only one Son. He has a unique Son, and many sons, which includes you and me!

The meaning of the word “son” in our verse above is not in the sense of “being created or born” but in the sense of being “exactly like his Father in all attributes” and having a “Father-Son” relationship(1). Sons reflect the attributes, characteristics and the glory of the Father. Jesus is God’s one-of-a-kind Son, and God has adopted you into His family!


Ponder on the truth revealed to you above. Declare “I am a son of God and a revelation of His attributes on the earth!”


Sons reveal the Father. That is the reason why you are the revelation of the glory of God on earth today. Let His love, power, wisdom, compassion, etc. be seen through you today.


Thank the Father for giving us His one-of-a-kind Son!

Recommended Read: Partaking in the Son of God

Foundational Read: What is a Daily Devotional?

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