faith

The Son of God and the Son of Man

The titles “Son of God” and “Son of Man” belong to one man named Jesus. No other person in history could wear both names. This Son of God, Jesus, who could heal a woman from twelve years of bleeding, give a lame man new legs, and open blind eyes, was also the Son of Man who hungered, experienced temptation without giving in, and cried tears of grief.

He is the only man in all of history whose Father was God, the Creator, and whose mother was a very human woman. Thus, he was both the Son of God and the Son of Man. We’re familiar with this aspect of Jesus, but don’t let your familiarity of these titles cheat you from understanding their significance. Linger with me here for a little bit. Let’s ask why or “what does this mean?” Let’s unpack these titles to better understand Jesus.

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The son of man

Of all his names and titles, Jesus used this title, “Son of Man,” for himself more than any other. According to Gotquestions.org, this name is found eighty-two times in the New Testament, and Stephen is the only other person who referred to Jesus this way. He did this as they threw stones to kill him. How kind of the Lord to let Stephen’s eyes actually see what he was proclaiming about the Jesus they’d misjudged. Surely this gave him strength until the final stone was thrown.

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Acts 7:55-56

The significance of “the son of man” Title

The final spark that lit the Sanhedrin’s fury was Jesus’s answer when asked if he was God’s Son. “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). These words held great significance. It’s origin dated back to the prophet Daniel. It was of great importance to the Jewish people. Daniel wrote:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a Son of Man (a human being), coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Daniel 7:13-14 (My addition.)

Claiming this verse was to proclaim himself as the God-Man who would reign with God which made Jesus equal to God. This was blasphemy to the Jewish authorities and prompted the quick decision to crucify an innocent man who was simply telling the truth. But this was not the first time Jesus spoke of the Son of Man. He also used this title in a parable.

Divinity Wrapped in Skin

I’m not sure I’ve ever payed attention to the “Parable of the Weeds” until now. It’s not one normally used in sermons or Bible studies. Read closely. I’ve bolded the important names and phrases. This was Jesus’s explanation of this parable:

 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Matthew 13: 36-43

This parable reveals the Son of Man’s Kingship and role as judge in the Kingdom of God. Actually, when you read all the scriptures regarding the Son of Man, most proclaim His authority, not His humanity. Yet, one thing I’ve noticed in my study of these verses, despite who He was as the Son of Man, divinity clothed in skin, He was judged by men.

Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Isaiah 53: 1-3

He looked and acted too much like a man for the religious to believe He was the One. I would say the Jewish authorities thought Messiah would look like them, and that made them blind to the truth despite the title of the “Son of Man” given in Daniel. I really don’t know what they expected, but it wasn’t Jesus.

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The son of god

Gabriel told Mary that the power of God would “overshadow” her and within her would grow the Son of God. Surely this title for Jesus reveals His divinity. The author of Hebrews beautiful explains this name:

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 

Hebrews 1:3 NIV

Jesus, the Son of God, was the “exact representation” of God! Oh how rich, how deep. Everything about Him demonstrated the very essence of the Father. But what’s really stirred in me about Jesus’s title as the Son of God is what it means for us as adopted sons and daughters of God.

What the Son of God Means for us

Scripture after scripture declares our adoption as sons and daughters of God! Paul declared the Son of God as the “firstborn among many brothers.” The most beautiful part of the Son of God to me is the generosity of His and the Father’s heart. In His humility, the Son of God poured out His life and made a way for us to now be marked as a son or daughter of God too. He did not withhold this title–this name. With the Spirit’s presence within us, He is our brother. Amazing.

Before doing this research, I thought of the “Son of Man” as the title that related me to Jesus, but I realize now that the “Son of God” unites the hearts of all who’ve become children of God through their faith in Jesus.

Bible Reading Plan

I pray this 30-day study of The Son of God and Son of Man will help us know Jesus more. Join me this month as we focus on these titles for Jesus. The printable is free. Just click on the image. Leave a comment if you’re studying with us, and join us on Instagram @wordsbyandylee Fridays at 9:00 AM ET for Faith Fridays.

Bible Reading Plan Jesus

Let’s Pray

Hold my hands, I want to pray with you. “Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man you alone are worthy of our praise. We’re indebted to you. Debtors who could never repay, sinners who could never be righteous on our own. Thank you. We look forward to the day we see you, the Son of Man, sitting on the throne in glory and fully understand what it means to be your brother or sister as a child of God. Help us understand. Give us greater revelation and deeper knowledge of you. We’re in awe. To God and the Son of God and Son of Man be the glory! Amen and amen.

Other Bible Reading Plan on Jesus’s Names:

January: Hope

February: Jesus

March: Christ

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