From what I have researched, Yeshua called himself “Son of Man” some 78 times throughout the Gospels. It is supposedly a term reserved for the Messiah from the Book of Daniel, in that the son of man would inherit God’s everlasting kingdom.
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But wasn’t Ezekiel also called “Son of Man”? Didn’t God, himself, call Ezekiel the son of man?
So, was Ezekiel the Messiah?
I don’t think so.
In Judaism, the term “son of Man” generally refers to mankind, to the mortal state of humanity as compared to the immortal and spiritual condition of the deity.
In some circles, it is believed that Yeshua used this term for himself to represent that he was the Messiah. However, most likely only those who were biblically knowledgeable would have known this usage, certainly not his Disciples, who were Am haAretz (literally, “people of the land”, i.e., commoners, generally considered to be uneducated).
It is also thought that he used this term to identify himself as human and suffering all human weaknesses (Isaiah 53 does say that the Messiah will be no stranger to illness and suffering).
But I think there might be one more reason for Yeshua referring to himself in this way.
What is the one, most obvious, blaring, and definitive difference between mankind and God?
It’s sin, isn’t it?
Throw out the spiritual vs. physical, throw out the created vs. eternal, and throw out the earthly vs. heavenly, and what do we have left?
People sin but God never does, never has, and never will.
We may be made in the image of God (whatever that really means), but it is sin that definitively separates us from God.
And guess what is the one thing which is the inheritance of all human beings?
It’s sin! Duh!
Original sin the one thing that we have to overcome, first and foremost, in order to be one with God.
And if you think Original Sin is a uniquely Christian thing, think again.
In Judaism, the Talmud tells us of the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) and the Yetzer Tov (good inclination), and of these two, guess which one we are born with?
That’s right- we are born with the Yetzer Hara, the evil inclination, which (of course) translates to being sinful from birth. Just like King David said in Psalm 51.
Let’s also recall that Shaul (in Romans 5:12) said that sin was introduced into the world through one man (Adam, of course), and that through the Messiah we would be able to overcome that.
Adam, representing mankind, introduced sin into the world (we’re letting Eve off the hook, for the moment), so what mankind inherits from Adam, the father of all people, is sin.
But Yeshua wasn’t born from Adam, so the title he gave to himself- Son of Man- doesn’t really make sense, does it?
Yet, I think it does for this reason- he came to take on all our sins, and as such, he then would become a son of man.
I believe Yeshua called himself the son of Man because he would inherit, not by lineage but by choice, the sins of mankind. He wasn’t a natural son of man, as we all are, but – in a way- an adopted son of man, in that he voluntarily took on our sins to allow himself to be our scapegoat.
So, even though Yeshua was not born a son of Adam, he accepted the position as a son of Adam.
And by doing that, by rejecting his spiritual birthright to accept a physical inheritance, he made it possible for all of us to be saved from our sins.
Thank you, Yeshua, for what you did for us, and thank you, God, for sending him.
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That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!