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SON OF MAN AND SON OF GOD
BY B. WILSON.
In what sense was Christ the son of man?
There is no doubt whatever as to Christ being „the Son of Man”—but in what sense it is asked. Did this phrase mean that he was simply a man—one of human kind; or did it imply something more than this? I think more is comprehended in the phrase. Jesus very frequently spoke of himself as the Son of Man, and must have meant something beyond the idea that some have advanced, that he was the son of the man Joseph, the husband of his mother Mary. I will give a few references for the reader to examine, where Jesus calls himself the Son of Man. Matt. 20:18; 18:11; 16:13-16; 12:8; 20:18,19; 25:31; 26:64. These are all from Matthew’s testimony. They prove that the Son of Man was the anointed one, and are to be so understood. The Jews also understood the term as synonymous with Messiah. What other conclusion could they or we arrive at after reading Dan. 7:13,14? Let the reader turn to this reference, and see if it does not refer to the Messiah. But why is he called the Son of Man? Surely not in the same sense that I am the son of a man, because begotten by him; nor as the term is so frequently applied to Ezekiel the prophet; nor as used by David in the eighth Psalm, and as quoted by Paul in Heb. 2:6. The phrase as used by Jesus is always in the emphatic
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form, though our English versions do not show it. The Greek is—ho whyos tou anthropou, „the Son of the Man.” This definite form of expression implies that Christ was the son of some particular man. Shall we say the son of Joseph, the carpenter? Did Jesus mean this every time, when he used this emphatic form of expression? I trow not. Then whose son was he? I answer, „the son of David.” The Messiah was to be the seed of David, according to the Prophets, and the genealogical records as given by Matthew and Luke, prove that Jesus was the Son of David, with whom Jehovah made an everlasting covenant, saying, „His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me,” Psa. 89:36. The genealogical records prove him to be the Son of David. The prophets foretold that the Messiah who should sit on David’s throne, and order his kingdom, was to be the Son of Jesse and David. Isa. 9:6,7; 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Psa. 132:11. The apostles believed that Jesus was the Messiah and the son of David. Peter, in his discourse on the day of Pentecost, tells the Jews that Jesus, according to the flesh, was from the loins of David; and Paul says that he was „made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8. And the glorified Jesus himself declares: „I am the root and offspring of David,” Rev. 22:16. From these testimonies I conclude that Jesus the Christ was the Son of Man, not in the sense of simply being a man, but because he was the son of the man David, with whom Jehovah made an everlasting covenant, that the throne and kingdom of Israel should belong to him and his seed forever.
[Our Lord was „Son of David” according to the flesh through his mother, who was of the lineage of David. As to how it was possible for our Saviour to be born of a woman who was of the fallen, condemned, imperfect race, and yet be perfect, undefiled and free from the condemnation which came upon every other member of the race through Adam, we refer the reader to an article in the TOWER of Sept. 1885, entitled „The Undefiled One.”—EDITOR OF Z.W. TOWER.]
In what sense was Christ the son of God? He was called the son of God while in the flesh. But it is asked in what sense? I answer, because he was God’s son, in the sense of being begotten by him. Christ called God his Father, and God acknowledged him as his son. See Matt. 3:17; 17:5. If Christ was the Son of God only as we are sons of God, then he was not the son of God, but a son; nor would there be any more reason in confessing him to be the Son of the living God, as Peter and all the apostles did, than in confessing some other believer to be God’s son. But Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and consequently the Messiah. He also required his disciples to believe this truth. See John 9:35-37; 10:36. The belief that Jesus, the Son of Man, was also the Christ, the Son of the living God, lies at the very foundation of Christianity—on it the Church was to be built. Matt. 16:16-18. Jesus was more than an adopted son by faith—was more than a begotten son by the word of truth; he was „the only begotten of the Father,” John 1:14; 3:16; 1 John 4:9. The Father with audible voice, proclaimed him as his beloved Son, Matt. 3:17; 17:5. Paul calls him God’s own Son, and his dear son, Gal. 4:4-5; Col. 1:13.—Millenarian.
— June, 1887 —