What do we mean when we call Jesus the “Son of God”?
And what did Jesus mean when He called Himself the “Son of Man”?
I have been thinking about these two titles as I have been preparing for this weeks sermon, and I thought my findings would be worth sharing. They are like two sides to the same coin and both titles provide deep insight into who Jesus really is. Let’s look at each one a bit closer.
Son of God
When we call Jesus the “Son of God” we mean that He represents God the Father in a special way. This is what it means to be a son. We’ve lost this idea a bit in the west, but it used to be that a son would take on the job and responsibilities of his father as he grew. He started where his father left off and kept going. As a son, he represented his father’s legacy and would pass it on to his son.
But Jesus does more than simply represent the Father. Colossians 1:15 tells us that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” and Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the exact imprint of the nature of God, and verse 4 says that all the fullness of God dwells in Him. Jesus did not simply represent the Father, He was the exact image of the Father. Everything that the Father was as God, Jesus was, and is, as well. There is no distinction between them as it relates to their godliness. Jesus is God as much as the Father. But Jesus is our visible representation of God. He is God with skin on.
For Jesus to be the Son of God means that He is the God who is man.
Son of Man
This title shows up several times throughout the Bible, but the one Old Testament passage from which Jesus took this phrase was Daniel chapter 7:13-14 which says:
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.
This “Son of Man” in Daniel is someone who looks like a man. He is a human, yet when He comes before the Father, the Ancient of Days, He is given the dominion of God. He is set up as the ruler over all things. He rules everything forever. That is not the rule of a mere man, but of a god. THE God and King over all things.
The Son of Man title means that Jesus is the Man who is God.
Isn’t that a great picture?
Son of God means “the God who is man”
Son of Man means “the Man who is God”
This is the Jesus we worship, fully God and fully man. The Man who is God. The God who is Man.