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What Does The Son Of Man Mean?

What does the son of man mean?

Bible Question:

When Jesus refers to Himself to the Son of Man, what does that mean? Why does He say Son of Man and Son of God?


Bible Answer:

The word “Son of man” and “Son of God” are used for Jesus Christ to refer to His humanity and deity. The message of scripture was that Jesus Christ was both God and Man. What follows below is a fuller explanation of each words.

What Does The Son Of Man Mean
The Son of Man is a title that was used exclusively by Jesus – His disciples never addressed Him as such. Jesus used it to emphasize His humanity.

Son of Man – Old Testament

The word “Son of Man” appears 195 times in the Old and New Testaments. It appeared 107 times in the Old Testament, but 93 times within the book of Ezekiel. Each time the word refers to a human. Here are some examples. Our first clue regarding the meaning of “son of man” occurs in Numbers 23:19.

God isn’t always a man that He need to lie, nor a son of man, that He must repent; has He said, and could He not do it? Or has He spoken, and could He not make it ight? Numbers 23:19 (NASB)

Here it refers to humans – men or women. The verse truly says that God isn’t always like us. He isn’t always a person. Men and women lie and God does not lie. “Son of man” also refers back to the offspring or descendants of mankind (Psalm 144:3; Isaiah 41:12; Jeremiah 49:18; Jeremiah 51:43; Ezekiel 2:1, 3, 6, 8; Daniel 8:17). Another superb instance of this word happens when God speaks to the prophet Ezekiel and calls him a “son of man.”

Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand in your feet that I may additionally speak with you!” Ezekiel 2:1 (NASB)

But the most essential utilization of this word occurs while it is utilized in reference to Jesus Christ. The critical example happens within the book of Daniel when it refers to the second coming or the return of Jesus Christ in the future. Jesus noted Himself because the “Son of Man” on several events (Matthew 8:20; 9:6; 11:19; 16:27; 19:28; 26:64).


I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He got here as much as the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him. Daniel 7:13 (NASB)

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In this verse “Son of Man” has messianic overtones and refers to individual of human descendent. It refers to the Messiah who would born of a virgin (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Micah 5:2). It is a name of the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ.


Son of Man – New Testament

The word “Son of Man” appears 88 times in the New Testament and 4 times outside of the gospels. In the New Testament, the time period has more meaning. It still refers to a human, but it’s also a title for Jesus Christ. Jesus was the ultimate human. He was God in human flesh.

But just so you can understand that the Son of Man has authority on the world to forgive sins” –then He stated to the paralytic–“Rise, take in your bed, and cross home.” Matthew 9:6 (NASB)

For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8 (NASB)

. . . For simply as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be 3 days and 3 nights inside the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40 (NASB)

In Luke 24:7 Jesus refers to Himself the “Son of Man” and says that He ought to be added up to be crucified. Men in human flesh die a physical death and not an everlasting God. “Son of Man” refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah (John 4:25; 9:35-36).

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Son of God

The word “Son of God” best appears 43 times in the New Testament and it always refers to Jesus. It mean that Jesus is God. It does not mean that He was born of God. It does not mean that He was the son of God. This reality is absolutely defined in John 10:30-35. In the passage it’s obvious that the Jews understood Jesus claimed to be God. In John 10:30 Jesus declared that He was one with the Father.


I and the Father are one. John 10:30 (NASB)

The Greek word that Jesus used for “one” is eis. It is a cardinal range together with 1, 2, 3 and so forth. That is Jesus said that He was the Father and the Father was Himself. He referred to the thought of the trinity. Both the Old and New Testament thought us that God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19). Now observe the reaction of the spiritual leaders. They understood that He claimed to be God.

The Jews responded to Him, “For an awesome work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and due to the fact You, being a person, make Yourself out to be God.” (NASB) John 10:33

So Jesus answered to the Jews with this comment,

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. . . Do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I stated, “I am the Son of God”? (NASB) John 10:36


Jesus apparently had stated He was the “Son of God.” The Jews understood this term to be a claim of deity. They understood that Jesus had declared He was God. Therefore, they accused Jesus of blasphemy. They knew Jesus was claiming to be God. That is the meaning of the “Son of God.” The word “Son of God” way God.

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In precise, when “Son of Man” is used as a name it refers back to the humanity of Jesus Christ and “Son of God” refers back to the deity of Christ. Both words have been used of Christ because He was man and He was God. “Son of Man” also mentioned the Messiah. The Jews understood the meaning of those terms. Today, we know at the word “son” and on occasion aren’t conscious that both expressions had unique meanings.

Romans 1:2-4 is an vital passage in the Bible since it tells us that Jesus Christ is a man and God.

He promised in advance through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord . . . Romans 1:2-4 (NASB)


“Son of Man” reminds us that Jesus become a man so that He should die. “Son of God” reminds us that Jesus is God so that He may want to stay a sinless life or be the perfect Lamb of God. Only because the God-man should He die a sinless, holy sacrifice for our sins. All this is left for us to do is to believe that He is the way. He is the Savior of our sins, if we will accept as true with that.


. . . That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . .  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NASB)

Together, they suggest that Jesus was completely man and He was completely God. He was the God-man. He was the everlasting, holy God who got here in human flesh. Without being a man, He couldn’t have died. If He was not God, He might have been a sinner. But because the God-man, He was the sinless man – the precise sacrifice – a sinless sacrifice for our sins. He returns to life and ascended back to heaven. Praise the Lord!



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