Son of Man, Son of God :: By Grant Phillips

It is hard for us to understand the depth of God’s love for us … mankind. We look around and see some really ornery people, and scratch our heads wondering, “How could God love that? They’re despicable. Their own mother would be hard-pressed to love them.”

Oh my; then we look in the mirror and see another person just as worthless. If God knows us even better than we know ourselves, and He does, why would God bother with a creation of His that is clearly not worth saving, at least in our eyes? Why would God want any part of us? I don’t understand that, but I’m glad He does.

The city was having severe sewer problems. It had gotten so bad, the citizens were living like sewer rats. After a while they grew accustomed to the sight and smell of the sewer running through the streets and into their homes. (It’s amazing that people can eventually get used to anything and treat it as the norm.)

  • It got so bad, the neighboring municipalities smelled the offensive odor and knew something had to be done before they all died from diseases, but who would venture into the infected area to save them? The people had become so foul-smelling and disgusting, who would even care? Why not just seal the whole area off and let them all die in their filth? But one day, one gentleman came forward and said he would go to these people and tell them just how offensive they were and that they needed to follow him out to the clean area if they wanted to live. He would clean them up and lead them out, but they must trust him. He finally convinced some to accept his help.

I often wonder if what mankind has become through sin and what we have done to God’s creation may be very similar to this. The stench of sin has wafted upwards toward Heaven; but early on, actually in the Garden of Eden, One already knew what He would do to save us. He would become one of us, and lead as many out as would follow Him.

I believe Jesus really enjoyed being called the Son of man. He is identified as such over 80 times in the New Testament (duplications in the Gospels). He very often called Himself the Son of man. Even in the final book of the Bible, Revelation, He called Himself the Son of man.

“and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band” (Revelation 1:13).

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle” (Revelation 14:14).

One man, Adam, had brought disaster upon all mankind by his sin. It would take one sinless man to save mankind, but none existed. So, what does God do? He becomes a man by virgin birth. Mankind now has a man among them who is without sin. This sinless man told them that he would clean them up and lead them out to safety if they would believe him and follow him to safety. He told them don’t worry about your filthiness; I am going to die on a cross and pay for everything. Believe in me, and I will make you clean, and then take you home with me.

This one man is Jesus who called Himself “the Son of man.” He called Himself the Son of man because He wants us to know that He identifies with us. He knows our sorrows. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our temptations and hardships. He knows us and loves us enough to die for us on that Roman cross. In the cross of Jesus Christ, I see the Son of man.

But there is more. This Jesus, the Son of man, is also the Son of God. If the Son of man had died on the cross and that were the end of the story, none of us could be saved. He could not have said, ‘Come to me. Trust me. I’ll clean you up and take you home with Me.’ The Son of God had to finish the story.

When I think of the Son of man, I think of the cross at Golgotha. When I think of the Son of God, I think of the empty tomb where Jesus rose in three days as He promised. Without the empty tomb, the cross would be of no effect.

In His sinless humanity, Jesus paid for our sins, all of them, but only God can raise the dead. Jesus died in His humanity, and then rose from the grave by His power as God.

When Jesus is seen in Revelation 1:13 (above), He is both the Son of man and the Son of God. Likewise, when we see Him in Revelation 14:14 (above), He is seen as both Son of man and Son of God. Finally, when we see Him in the following verse below, He is seen as the Son of God who brings judgment upon sin.

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:’” (Revelation 2:18).

As the Son of man, He paid for our sins, and is the only one qualified to do so. As the Son of God, He judges sin and delivers us from the consequences of sin that He paid for on our behalf.

All who come to Him, believing, have nothing to fear, but everything to look forward to. Ask Him to help you see your need for Him, and He will clean you up and take you home with Him.

Grant Phillips


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