Son of Man
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, NIV)
Was Jesus’ humanity weighing heavily upon Him as the day of His death approached? Jesus knew all the glory and splendor of Heaven. He willingly chose to leave it and come to earth to become a man, a perfect man in an imperfect world. Knowing the torture and suffering He was about to endure, was His humanity weighing heavily upon Him?
People love titles. Doctor. Professor. President. Senator. Influencer. Athlete. Attaching a title to your name lets people know what you have accomplished in your career and can be a way to tell others how important you are, or at least, how important you think you are! Jesus had more titles to choose from than we can ever imagine. Isn’t it interesting then, that the title He chose most often for Himself was Son of Man?
Jesus had a lengthy list of titles or names from which to choose, many of which would convey His deity, His supreme position, His Godhood. Yet He most often addressed Himself as Son of Man throughout His years of traveling and teaching. Son of Man is a title that can refer to everyone as everyone is a son of man!
Jesus rarely came out and directly claimed His deity, yet if a person was willing to really listen, think, and understand what He was saying, they would come to see that Jesus claimed his deity in a number of ways. By calling Himself the Sone of Man, Jesus claims His divine nature. Jesus is part of the divine trinity. He is God. But Jesus is also human. He was born of a human woman. He was raised by human father. Jesus is human! If He was not, He could never have provided salvation for all mankind. Son of Man recognizes both of these natures.
Calling Himself the Son of Man showed all He had given up to come to earth. Jesus left the glorious splendor of heaven to become human, to become flesh and blood. He lived among humankind, laughed, loved, and shed tears with His human, imperfect friends. Son of Man showed humility when many would have chosen to brag. Yet Son of Man is also a divine title. Jesus isn’t the son of man: He is the Son of Man. He is the Son of the Father of all, the great creator.
By calling Himself the Son of Man, Jesus was also announcing He was there to fulfill prophecy as the promised Messiah. In Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel noted seeing “one like a Son of Man” coming down from Heaven. By claiming it for Himself, Jesus is saying He came to fulfill the prophecy.
So what does this mean for us? Jesus is fully God. Jesus is fully human. He experienced every pain, every agony, every joy that we experience. Jesus knows exactly what we are going through, good and bad. Because He is human. Because He is God, Jesus is there for us through it all. He can help us when we are down, and celebrate with us during the good. Son of Man has many meanings. Which one stands out to you? How does the title Son of Man resonate with you?
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