The Third Title – Son of Man
Home Church Devotional 7/12/2020
These devotionals were written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowed to meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of a full sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.
The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:43-51 (NASB)
As a man, I looked forward to the day I could start a family, as I am sure, many men do. We especially look forward to the day we have a son to teach the ways of the world, to have a catch in the back yard, take fishing, change the oil in the car or just simply hangout and watch a game on television. As a man I am also a son. As a son I made my share of mistakes, had my share of disappointments, disappointed my parents, struggled with schoolwork and chores, and generally just wanted to be me and do what I wanted. I was far from the perfect son. Far too often I would seek my will, to do what was pleasing to me, instead of doing as I had been asked or waiting until I felt like doing what had been asked of me. No, the will of my parents, and particularly my father, did not always matter much to me.
In our passage today, we find Jesus traveling in Galilee, where He calls Philips to follow Him. Philip immediately finds Nathanael to tell him they have found the One Moses and the prophets wrote about – Jesus of Nazareth. The response of Nathanael is less than positive but nonetheless, he followed his friend to meet Jesus. Jesus sees Nathanael approaching and His greeting is one that caused Nathanael to ask where Jesus knew him from. Jesus saw Nathanael as he sat under the fig tree, causing Nathanael to confess, Rabbi, You are the Son of God; the King of Israel.” Jesus, however, refers to Himself as the Son of Man in His response to Nathanael; he would see the angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
The title Son of Man is a testimony to the humanity of Jesus Christ. Yes, He was and is fully God, but He was also fully man. This means far more than Jesus was simply born of a human being; it means that He is more than some ordinary human being; it means that He is more than just a son of some man. The title Son of Man means that Jesus is the Ideal Man; he is what every human being ought be; He is the representative of what every human being should be – He is the Perfect Human, the Perfect Pattern, the Embodiment of everything God wants a person to be can be seen in Jesus Christ.
Son of God is the divine title of Jesus; Son of Daniel is the Jewish name/title for Jesus; the title Son of Man links Jesus to the earth and His mission among people. This is the favorite title for Himself, He used the title more than 80 times and is mostly likely based on Daniel 7:13-14. The title Son of Man emphasizes (10 His lowliness and humility, (2) His suffering and death, and (3) His future reign as King. It is in John’s gospel we clearly see both the deity and the humanity of Jesus. We have already seen the deity throughout this gospel and today we find the humanity of Jesus on display. In Jon 2 we see the righteous anger of Jesus; in John 4 we see the weariness and the thirst of Jesus; in John we see Jesus deeply moved and that Jesus wept; in John 12 we see the physical hunger of Jesus.
Jesus has experienced all things we face, there is nothing left to doubt. The writer of Hebrews states like this, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB) As the Son of Man, Jesus is the mediator between a holy God and fallen human beings. As the Son of Man, Jesus opens up the heavens giving us and fellowship with God the Father. As the Son of God, Jesus stands before the Father interceding – communicating – with the Father on our behalf.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul says, “…Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Romans 8:34 (NASB) As the Son of Man, Jesus has made it possible for us to approach God and enter heaven through Christ. He has bridged the gulf of loneliness and alienation all people have felt. As the Son of Man, we have access to God through Christ alone. He is the only One to have seen the Father for He has come from the very side of the Father. As the Son of Man, Jesus has given us unlimited and continuous communication with God. We can now enter the throne room with confident boldness that God hears us and cares for us.
While all sons, at some point in time, will fail their father, Jesus, as the Son of Man, never failed His Father, for He sought to do that which was the Fathers will. Jesus never allowed the influences of this world to cause Him to deviate from the course the Father had predestined from the foundation of the world. Jesus sought to please the Father by doing His will, without regard for His – Jesus’ – personal feelings. Not many of us today can make that same statement. We live in our fallen humanity, far from what God planned for His image bearing creation.
And yet, there is great hope for those who put their trust in Christ Jesus. As the Son of Man, Jesus alone can bring you access to God the Father. Jesus alone, as the Son of Man, can bring you into eternal life. Jesus alone, as the Son of man is the perfect representation before God the Father, allowing you to enter the throne room with confident boldness that God loves you and cares for you. If you too would like this confident boldness, today is the perfect time to place your faith, your trust, your life in the hands of the One who has come from the side of the Father and stand before the Father, interceding for those who love and trust Him.
Amen and Amen.