Chapter Three – Jesus is the Son of Man (Part One)

Part One

Whenever Jesus referred to himself, the title he used most often was this one; the Son of man. This title, the Son of man, is used to emphasis the humanity of Jesus. By using this title so frequently, Jesus wants to tell us that he identifies himself with us. In the first chapter, we dealt with the fact that the Creator is Jesus, then we saw that in the Old Testament that the Creator was known as Yahweh, now we are going to find that Yahweh transitions into the role of Jesus, the Son of man. This is beautifully expressed in the instructions that the angel gives to Mary when she was informed what was about to happen to her:

…and you shall call his name Jesus… Matt. 1:21.

The name Jesus means Yahweh saves. And so, we see that the very name of Jesus, reflects the fact that it is Yahweh himself that is coming into the world and he takes the name of Jesus because the role that he is now going to play is now different. In the previous chapter, we saw that Yahweh himself, spoke through Isaiah, and announced that someone would prepare his coming.  John the Baptist stood up and announced that it was he who was the fulfilment of that prophecy and the person whose coming he was preparing was Jesus. Yahweh and Jesus are the same person. The same person with different roles, and therefore with different names, because the name is indicative of the mission and purpose of the role.

One of the most amazing things about Jesus becoming a man is that, as a consequence of becoming a man, he will always be a man. Have you ever wondered who Jesus was before he came to this earth? We cannot say with certainty, but Jesus himself has given us some clues. He said to the Samaritan women at Jacob’s well: 

God is a spirit… Jn. 4:24.

And Paul tells us that, it was said in heaven, just before Jesus was to come:

…a body have you prepared for me.  Heb. 10:5.

Which implies that Jesus did not already have a body, which seems a reasonable deduction after finding out that the Father is a spirit, why then would Jesus not also be a spirit?  Therefore, when the Creator became a part of his own creation, when he became a man, we cannot really comprehend what that must have been like. However, in all probability, the price Jesus paid was huge. Paul did write that we are bought with a price. Part of that price is that Jesus will never return to his former existence. When Jesus was ascending to heaven, angels came to comfort the disciples, one of them said: 

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  Acts 1:11.

We will never know the full cost that heaven was willing to pay, in order to save some of us. But one thing is sure, in this one thing (becoming human), Jesus has paid an enormous price.  And after leaving heaven and becoming a man the price just kept going up, the final instalment being tortured on a cross. So, this is the first question we need to ask: Why was Jesus prepared to give up everything in heaven and become a part of his own creation and become a man forever?  What was he trying to achieve?  What was the plan?  There are in fact several reasons – several plans to accomplish:


  1. Jesus came to fulfil the role of kinsman redeemer.

 The Son of man is come to save that which was lost. Matt. 18:11.

And this is what the Kinsman Redeemer does; he pays the cost of restoring the lost. The Kinsman Redeemer is an Old Testament method of teaching New Testament principles. If an Israelite lost his inheritance and was sold into slavery (which in this instance is a symbol for sin), there was a solution for the predicament:

 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him.  Lev. 25:48.


The requirements of the Kinsman Redeemer are these: He has to be a relative -He has to be willing – He has to be able to pay the price.

This Old Testament redemption method is the crux of the Naomi, Ruth and Boaz story. Boaz is made aware of Ruth’s predicament. He accepts his responsibility and he redeems Ruth by entering into a contract with one of Ruth’s closer relatives. The difference being, Boaz was willing and the other closer relative was not.  This is an Old Testament way of teaching the truth about redemption, which is:

The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  Matt. 20:28.

In order for Jesus to become our Saviour, our Redeemer, he had to become a near relative, he had to become a human being.

There are two more related reasons why the Creator became a human being, because they are related we will discuss them together, they are:

  1. To redeem Adam’s failure.
  2. To become the Second Adam.

 When Adam and Eve sinned, fellowship with Jesus, became separation from Jesus. Adam and Eve fled from Jesus, and Jesus went looking for them. This is because transgression automatically separates a Holy God from the transgressor Isaiah tells us:

 Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  Isa. 59:2.

Think of it as the difference between light and darkness, the two cannot exist in the same space. Darkness will always flee from light. The solution to this problem of separation dramatically changes, when the Creator becomes the Son of Man.  Because man could not live with God, God came to live with man. Paul expresses the distance between man and God, and the solution to the problem, in this manner:

Therefore, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, who are called “Uncircumcision” by those who called themselves “Circumcision,” [itself a mere mark] which is made in the flesh by human hands—remember that at that time you were separated from Christ [excluded from any relationship with Him], alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise [with no share in the sacred Messianic promise and without knowledge of God’s agreements], having no hope [in His promise] and [living] in the world without God. But now [at this very moment] in Christ Jesus you who once were [so very] far away [from God] have been brought near [by the blood of Christ.  Eph. 2:11-13. Amplified Bible.


Death by First Adam – Life by Second Adam

When Adam was placed on earth he was tested and failed. When Jesus was placed on earth he was tested and won. The first test was a simple one and resulted in failure, the second test was extreme, severe, and virtually constant during the course of Christ’s entire life on earth.  Nevertheless, Jesus triumphed and the victory was won. As a result, Jesus becomes the second Adam:

 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.  1 Cor. 15:47.


The first Adam caused the problem – “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world” (Rom. 5:12).

The second Adam solved the problem – “…much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).

We can blame Adam for the human predicament – death came upon all mankind by man – “For since by man came death…” – “For as in Adam all die…” (1 Cor. 15:21, 22).

But we can only blame ourselves if we refuse the solution. Adam brought sin into this world – But life also came by man – Jesus brings righteousness to get us out of this world – “…by man also came the resurrection of the dead…” – “…even so in Christ shall all be made alive” – (1 Cor. 15:21, 22).

 We all die because Adam introduced death, but we can all live again because of Jesus.  Paul thought the church in Rome ought to see these contrasting parallels too. He told the church at Rome that Adam’s transgression caused condemnation to come upon all mankind – but the condemnation of mankind was remedied by the justification provided by Jesus.

Mankind condemned by Adam’s transgression – “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation… (Rom. 5:18).

But the condemnation is removed by Christ – “…even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom. 5:18).

The condemnation came because of disobedience – justification came by obedience.

The first Adam disobeyed – “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…” (Rom. 5:19).

The Second Adam obeyed – “…so by the obedience of one man shall many be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

 Adam’s disobedience causes all to become sinners. Jesus’ allegiance never wavered.  The second Adam obeyed the Father’s will in all things, even enduring a terrible death. By his obedience Jesus can, and will, make many sinners righteous.


The perfect example of Jesus

There are two more related reasons why the Creator became a human being:

  1. To be an example for mankind,
  2. To live a sinless life.

Before coming to earth Jesus spoke these words in heaven, we know this because the author of Hebrews attributes these words to Jesus.  Jesus said:

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is written in my heart.  Ps. 40:8.

This emphasis on the will of the Father, was announced in heaven, before his incarnation as a human being, precisely because it was on this point that the first Adam failed. Therefore, the Father’s will was equally important after the incarnation, as well. In his announcements to the people Jesus emphasized this point several times:

 I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  Jn. 6:38.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself… Jn. 5:19.

I can of my own self do nothing. Jn. 5:30.

‘I can of my own self do nothing’ means that he only knows the Father’s will, not his own. Why did Jesus have to suffer as much as he did? – If the purpose was to do the Father’s will, in all things, why then did the Father’s will include so much suffering for Jesus? Paul gives us an insight into this question:

 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.  Heb. 5:8, 9.

Paul tells us that Jesus learned obedience through suffering. This needs a little explaining.  If doing the will of God is so important, and we have established that it is, then how is it going to be demonstrated whether one does the will of God or not?  How is such a thing tested?  It certainly cannot be tested when one lives a charmed life, everything works out fine, everything we touch turns to gold, and we live happily ever after. The only time such a thing can be measured is when suffering is involved. This is why Jesus suffered so much.  He was being tested to see if he would carry out the will of the Father in all things.  Fortunately for us he did, he never failed once, even in the shadow of the cross, this was his commitment:

 O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  Matt. 26:39.

When Jesus passed every test on earth, he was declared perfect. He lived a perfect life under the guidance of the Father at all times, Jesus confidently was able to say of himself:

 Which of you convinceth me of sin?  Jn. 8:46.

And others testified the same:

 …who knew no sin…  2 Cor. 5:21.

and in him is no sin.  1 Jn. 3:5.

Who did no sin… 1 Pet. 2:22.

Just as the lambs that were offered in the sanctuary services, could not have any blemishes, Jesus could not have any blemishes on his life on earth. His perfect obedience to the will of the Father, tested by suffering, made him the perfect Saviour:

…and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation.  Heb. 5:9.

This is the price that the Kinsman Redeemer was prepared to pay. What are we prepared to pay? if Jesus was tested by suffering, to see if he would do the will of God in all things, what about those called to be his followers? Will we be tested in like manner? The answer is yes!

 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.  1 Pet. 2:21.


The Will of the Father

If Jesus followed the Father’s will, in all things, is the Fathers’ will of the same magnitude of priority in our lives when we follow Jesus? If Jesus lived his life in the Father’s will do we have to do the same? Or is it so, that because Jesus did it for us, we do not have to do it? Jesus has emphatically told us which answer is correct:

Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Matt. 7:21.

The condition for salvation is clearly the will of the Father. How is heaven going to know if we do the will of the Father or not, unless we too follow the same path as Jesus and have our faith tested by suffering?  Again, it is easy to do the will of God when all things are going our way.  The real test is when we are going through trials and tribulation.  Thankfully, we are not all tested the same way. And it is comforting to know that:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  1 Cor. 10:13.


Fellow Suffers with Christ

God has promised that the burdens we bear will not be so heavy that they will necessarily break us. He will provide a way of escape before that happens. But Jesus left us in no doubt that if we choose to follow him, suffering would be a part of our lot in life:

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matt. 16:24.

Jesus passed all tests on obedience and by doing so he became a perfect Saviour. In the same way, if we pass all tests on obedience we will be perfectly saved. At this point people start to worry, so we must instantly digress here and clear up a misunderstanding.  Jesus never failed a single test. But that is not the case with us is it? We fail all the time. We will discuss this point in more detail in another chapter, but for now be assured with these words:

 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  1 Jn. 1:8 – 2:1.

Here we are told that God does not want us to sin, but if we do sin, we can be forgiven, because Jesus is our High Priest in heaven advocating on our behalf. Therefore, we have nothing to fear – if we transgress, we can obtain forgiveness.


The Will of Jesus

Jesus lived his life obedient to the will of the Father. If we choose to follow Jesus, does that meant that we ought to live our lives obedient to Jesus? We are told that Jesus was made perfect through suffering. Because of this victory, this perfect life, “he became the author of eternal salvation…” (Heb. 5:9). This is what we want, this is what we need, eternal salvation, no more death, no more pain, no more trials and tribulation – but notice the condition that the promise of eternal salvation is dependent upon: “…unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9).

Some people want an easy religion that does not require much thought or commitment. For most of these people, the word obedience is an ugly word. They like to quote: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” See all you have to do is believe, you don’t have to do anything, obedience has nothing to do with being saved. But let’s ask the question, what does it mean to believe in Jesus? Surely, it must mean we have to believe everything that he said. Surely belief also includes seeing him as our role model, our example. We cannot cling to only believe in the Lord Jesus, and reject the words of Jesus where he said, only those who do the will of the Father will enter heaven – you must be born again – follow me – love your neighbour – be the light of the world – be the salt of the earth – be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect – etc. etc.

So, what does it mean to obey? What was the relationship between the Father and the Son? It was obedience wasn’t it. Isn’t that what sons are supposed to do?  Obey their Fathers!  Jesus made a point of saying before he came to earth that he was going to obey the Father, he said the same thing after he came to earth.

Doing the Father’s will is the same thing as obedience.  In order to become our saviour Jesus had to obey the Father, in order for us to become the saved we have to obey the Son – we have to do his will. Jesus said it this way: “If you love me keep my commandments” (Jn. 14: 15). The same relationship that Jesus had with the Father is the same relationship that we need to have with the Son.  Just as Jesus obeyed the Father in all things, we have to obey the Son in all things.  Jesus said:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

To follow Jesus means that we are obedient to his commandments, following his example and submitting to his will. Adam destroyed the safe path to dwell in, the path that led to God. Jesus came to restore it. Jesus safely navigated his way through this world, by relying on the Father.  By following Jesus, we find ourselves on the safe path back to God. By following Jesus, we begin the long journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Jesus himself could only safely come to earth, live here, and safely leave again if he obeyed the Father in all things. In like manner, we can only safely make this journey to heaven if we obey Jesus in all things.


Another reason why Jesus came to this earth as a human being was:

  1. To show us the Father.

Because we are separated from God, we cannot see him, and we cannot talk to him, therefore many people doubt his very existence, and those of us who do believe do not understand God very well. Therefore, Jesus became a human being, so that we could see God, talk to God and listen to God. Jesus came to reveal to us what God is really like.  To understand God the Father we only need to look at Jesus:

 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.  Heb. 1:3.

In other words, Jesus was a perfect expression of the Father in human flesh. Philip wanted to see the Father and Jesus said to him:

 Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip?  He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?  Jn. 14:9.

Jesus told Philip if you want to see the Father look at me. If we want to find the Father we have to come to Jesus:

 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  Jn. 14:6.

We can only have a relationship with the Father through Jesus. We can only see the Father by looking at Jesus. We can only understand the Father by studying Jesus. We can only find the Father by following Jesus. We can only talk to the Father in the name of Jesus. This is why Jesus became the Son of man, this is who Jesus is.


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