Welcome to my 100th blog!
If I asked you “what do you call yourself?” it wouldn’t necessarily be the name on your birth certificate. Most of us have names we like to be called. I quite like being called ‘Ade’ by my friends and family. (My old football manager didn’t quite get it right and used to call me ‘Ades’ which I didn’t appreciate due to the obvious connotations.)
If you read the gospels carefully you will see that Jesus refers to Himself on many occasions as ‘The Son of Man’, which may seem rather strange until we take a closer look.
I always thought that Jesus calling himself ‘Son of Man’ was a bit of an understatement. Surely He would be better to call Himself ‘Son of God’ to highlight His divinity. Thankfully, Jesus is not like me; He was completely humble and never needed to ‘big Himself up’.
By calling Himself ‘Son of Man’ He was firstly highlighting the fact that He was a man. He wasn’t God in disguise (although He was fully God) but fully a man, with all its limitations: He got tired, hungry, sorrowful and definitely felt pain. When He called himself that name He was in fact saying “I am just like one of you – I am human”.
There was another reason why Jesus called Himself ‘Son of Man’ and we find a clue in the book of Daniel. In a vision that Daniel saw he describes the following:
13 “I saw in the night visions,and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)
Jesus would have known full well about this verse and the fact that it referred to Him, because He says this in Matthew 25:31-32:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
The High priest at His trial also knew full well what he was referring to:-
63” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matthew 26:63-66)
The high priest had absolutely no doubt that Jesus was linking the fact that He called Himself ‘Son of Man’ with that name in the Daniel 7 passage, evidenced by his reaction: he tore his robes, calling Jesus a blasphemer.
So in one name Jesus is highlighting both His Humanity and His divinity; there is no contradiction between the two-He is fully both! What a wonderful truth! The son of God became the son of man that we might become sons of God!