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Naming Jesus

Everyone bears titles and names. Most people have a first name, middle name, and last name. I bear additional titles: minister, principal, educator, writer, husband, father, son, and brother, among others. Of all the titles and names, follower of Jesus is the most important by far.

If Jesus were to select His own name, what would it be?


Photo Credit: Speedboat (cc)

Son of Man

John records a few titles for Jesus: the Word, the Light of men, God, Christ, Lamb of God, and Messiah. All these are titles used by others. Jesus calls Himself “Son of man” (John 1:51).

Who is the Son of man?

Jesus is the only person to use “Son of man” outside of Stephen (Acts 7:56) and people who wanted to know what He meant (John 12:34). Not being a widely known Messianic title, they asked Him about the name.

How does Jesus use the term?

The name is used as the heavenly Son of man coming in glory, and the Son of man suffering to bring salvation to people.

Daniel 7:13-14

“I saw in the night visions, 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. 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.”

Dual meanings

Jesus adopted the name for several reasons. The title is rare and without political complications. The phrase also had overtones of divinity and undertones of humanity.

Son of Man combines the theme of suffering and glory. The name points to Jesus’ conception as of heavenly origin and the possessor of heavenly glory. At the same time, it points to lowliness and suffering. (The Gospel according to John; Morris, Leon)

Defining the Son of man

“The “Son of Man is the human Jesus, the incarnate Logos; he has come to reveal God with a unique authority and ultimate authority and in the acceptance or refusal of his revelation the world judges itself.” (The Johannine Son of Man; F.J. Molony, p.220)

Our Savior

Jesus, the Son of man, came in full heavenly authority to defeat the works of the devil, suffering and dying to reconcile people with God; being glorified at His resurrection and subsequent ascension. He is fully God and fully man, the God/man.

The challenge

Accept the Son of man and receive His gift of salvation. Share in His sufferings, experience a resurrected life (Phil 3:10-11) and experience His glory for eternity.

How has the Son of man changed your life? Share your comments below.

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