In both Creeds (The Apostles’ and The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed) we say we believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God
As a catechist, I can claim that every first communicant knows this truth. But why is Jesus called the “Son of Man”? What does the “Son of Man” mean? This article will help you better understand why Jesus is called Son of man.
The expression “Son of Man” appears more than 100 times in Old Testament. It is used in the different ways.
Son of Man is a human being
Jesus declared that he is God and the Bible confirms it to us that he became flesh. God was not flesh in the very beginning; he took on flesh to become a man and dwelt among us. He took upon himself to be a man so he can die for the sins of man.
The general knowledge known to all about Jesus being called the “Son of God” suggests that, he is a deity and that being called the “Son of Man” suggests his humanity, which it does too.
Jesus is a son of man, that is, he is a human being. He is also the son of God because he was in existence with God even before the world was formed. (John 1:1-2, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.)
He is the begotten one that comes from the heavenly father. Jesus is the second person in the rank of the Trinity with all of the divine nature fully bestowed upon him.
Jesus is born of a virgin, Mary. He had a human father, Joseph but he never had sexual intimacy with this virgin until the time Jesus was conceived. Mary is a woman and so also is Joseph. Therefore, the child whom the Virgin Mary gave birth to is fully human.
Two natures of Jesus: divine and human
So the common understanding is that Jesus is both divine and also human. This shows him as having two natures, divine and human, in just one person.
He is in the form of a man and that is the reason he knows what everyone faces because he has got the human nature. Likewise, he is divine, because, through him, great and mighty things are done.
Son of Man – future eschatological figure
Furthermore, the term “Son of Man” doesn’t only align him with humanity. Daniel 7 shows that the Son of Man is a very exalted figure. Not just human but one in which is highly respected.
As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
The studies of the term “Son of Man” in the Gospels shows that Jesus did not often refer to himself as the Son of God but as the Son of Man. Many statements were made by him in the Bible to buttress this point. Mark 10:45, for even the Son of Man, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus had the characteristics of every human being on earth. He was subtle and quiet. This and much more are the reasons Jesus is called the son of man.
In summary, the phrase “Son of Man” indicates Jesus is a real human being. He has not only divine but human nature as well.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, knowledge, and questions in the comments below!