Jesus Christ, Son of Man

I just wanted to ask how is Jesus Christ referred to as the Son of Man. I can see how he is the son of Mary, the son of the Holy Spirit, but why is he referred to as the Son of Man?

The phrase son of man is used in more than one way in Scripture. In Hebrew ben-adham would have been taken originally as a roundabout or poetic reference to a human being. The same is true in Aramaic. In fact, the Aramaic equivalent of the term (bar-nasha) still means man or human being in modern Aramaic.

Thus Ezekiel is referred to as son of man without it indicating that he was anything more than human. (Notice that Ezekiel doesn’t call himself Son of Man as if using a title; rather, the angel addresses him as son of man, as if speaking generically as a non-human to a human being.) Over time a secondary usage of the phrase as a messianic term developed under the influence of prophetic literature such as the vision of Daniel 7.

The fact that son of man originally was a way of saying human being suggests that even when the title acquired the use of being a reference to the Messiah that it still retained the connotation of pointing to a man. Thus it is fair to say that the title calls attention to Jesus’ humanity while—in light of Daniel 7—it also suggests his eternal kingship and messianic mission.

“Son of man” means “man”. When Jesus uses this self-identifying title, He dose so in reference to the visions of Daniel. He wouldn’t be making any sense if He wasn’t. In Daniel, the prophet sees something like a son of man, i.e., a man-like figure. It is a symbol for the Messiah. Just as something like a dove, i.e., a dove-like figure, is a symbol for the Holy Spirit when He came over Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan.

Jesus is not a son of the Holy Spirit because He dose not generate from the Third Person of the Trinity. The Son generates from the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. The Father is the Principal. Because each Person is God and the Son became incarnate, Jesus is called Son of God or Son of the Father. For this same reason, we are the adopted sons of the Father, adopted sons of God.

The word “man” in English can also mean human kind generically.

Jesus uses “Son of man” as a title for himself. Note that He does not say: “Son of A man” which would be particular but rather he is human and gets that part of his wholeness from Mary.

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