Son of Man

Son of Man

* Jesus the Son of Man

What might Jesus have meant when He used the expression ‘Son of Man’?

Jesus uses the expression ‘Son of Man’ almost fifty times in the Gospels. However, even after two millennium of debate there does not seem to be a consensus among theologians as to how to interpret this expression.

According to Delbert Burkett, in his book ‘The Son of Man Debate’, subtitled ‘A History and Evaluation’, there are currently three more popular interpretations of the ‘Son of Man’, among other less popular ones.

1) “Son of Man”, an expression of Jesus’ humanity
2) “Son of Man”, a messianic title derived from Daniel 7:13
3) “son of man”, an idiom by which a man could refer to himself

It would seem that one or the other of these interpretations may best explain what Jesus is saying in each of the occurrences where He used this expression, but that no one of them seems satisfactory in all occurrences*.

However, we know that God is the Father of Jesus Matthew 1:18. In this way Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore He is in every respect divine.

And we know that Mary is the mother of Jesus. So, in this way Jesus is in every respect a human being.

Therefore as a human being He could go to the Cross as a representative of all of humanity. As it says in 1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those the whole world.”

Since it may be understood that the name of a person in the Bible symbolizes the nature of that person, then the nature associated with the name ‘Son of Man’ is ‘humanity’.

Therefore, whenever the expression Son of Man is used in this website, it is used as an expression of Jesus’ human nature.

It is understood that Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. That is, He is one person with two natures, and that these two natures are representative of Jesus’ divinity and His humanity.

It is also the point of view of this website that Jesus acted exclusively as the Son of Man during His Incarnation.

Also see
* All Occurrences Where Jesus Said Son of Man
The Purpose and Premise of this Website

Other Websites Relevant to this Topic
An Analysis of the Title Son of Man
Why is Jesus Called the “Son of Man”?

Last updated: February 24, 2016 at 10:21 am ET USA