Throughout his life on earth, Jesus had so many titles. Some people referred to him as the teacher, other Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God, and even Rabbi. However, one core title of Jesus has brought up a lot of debates, ‘Son of Man.’ This phrase has raised debates with many bible readers inquiring why Jesus was called the Son of Man. It is easy not to question a title like the ‘Son of God’ because God appeared on his baptism and affirmed his identity as him being his son. However, why is he called the Son of Man? Why is Jesus called the son of man?
Theologians agree that Jesus was referred to as the son of man as a title of humanity. Others add that it also shows humility. Humility is a core value that has been depicted in Jesus’ life since his birth; he was born in a manger and raised in Nazareth, a despised town. Luke 9:58 reads, “And Jesus said to him, foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
So, how does the Bible describe the word, son? How is the phrase ‘son of man’ used in the Bible? Where in the Bible did Jesus call himself the son of man? What did Jesus mean when he called himself the son of man? What did being the son of man imply about Jesus? Is it good news to Christians that Jesus is the son of man? Continue reading to get answers to these questions and more.
How does the Bible describe the word, son?
The Bible uses the word son to refer to several things. One of the significant descriptions of a son in the Bible is a male offspring. Another employment of the word son in the Bible indicates that certain people are members of certain classes, like “sons of prophets. The Bible also used the word son to indicate the characteristics of certain people or a certain person. Mark 3:17 notes, “And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, the sons of thunder.”
How is the phrase ‘the son of man’ used in the Bible?
The phrase ‘son of man’ is used severally in the Bible, both in the New Testament and the Old Testament. The book of Daniel 7:13-15 also talks about the son of man. “In my vision at night, I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the ancient of days and was led into his presence.
Scholars believe that Daniel was referring to Jesus. It is not a coincidence that Jesus refers to himself as the son of man, and also Daniel says the son of man would have an everlasting kingdom.
Where in the Bible did Jesus call himself the son of man?
There were several instances in the scripture when Jesus referred to himself as the son of man. As mentioned earlier, Jesus said in the book of Luke 9:58 that the son of man had nowhere to lay his head. “And Jesus said to him, foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Additionally, when Jesus was teaching in the book of Mathew 17:11-13, he referred to himself as the son of man. Jesus noted that just like Elijah came and he was not recognized, in the same way, will the son of man has to suffer.
Consequently, when teaching about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, Jesus referred to himself as the son of Man. Mathew 12:31-32 reads, Anyone who speaks a word against the son of man will be forgiven, but Anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Either in this age or in the age to come.
In Mathew 13:37, Jesus says, “He answered, and the one who sows the good seed is the son of man. Lastly, Jesus also referred to himself as the son of man in the book of John 1:51.He told His disciples that they would see angels ascending and descending on the son of man.
What did Jesus mean when he called himself the son of man?
Jesus walked with humility and loved referring to himself as the son of man. Bible readers say that he actually called himself the son of 78 times. However, the scripture does not give us the exact meaning of the phrase, ‘son of man.’
Theologians believe that Jesus referred to himself as the son of man to depict perfect humanity. God, in all his glory, came to earth as a man to fulfill the Law of Moses. Therefore, his title as the son of man identified himself with the people he had come to save on earth. Mark 2:10 says, “But so that you may know that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins, he said to the paralytic.”
Additionally, the title the son of man had a connection with the suffering Jesus went through on earth. Mark 8:31 says, “And he began to teach them that the son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
What did being the son of man imply about Jesus?
Theologians and bible scholars agree that Jesus is the son of man, which implies perfect humanity and humility. Jesus came in the flesh as the son of man to rescue humanity. The book of 1st John 4:2 says, “By this, you know the spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.”
By calling himself the son of man, he was displaying total humility, fulfilling a prophecy that he would be despised. Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
He embodied his title ‘the son of man’ fully, and he even drank and ate with sinners in Mathew 11:19. Scholars also posit that this was a title of deity. John 1:14 says, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus could do what only one can do on earth; he forgave sins and was crucified to save humanity.
Is it good news to Christians that Jesus is the son of man?
Theologians believe that it is good news that Jesus is the son of man. He came to save humanity and identified himself with humanity. He was humble and easily accessible and suffered for our sins. The Bible says he rose from the dead and sat on the right-hand side of his father to please our cases. Mark 9:9 reads, “And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen until the son of man had risen from the dead.”
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.