The Son of God - of David - of Man - TitlesVolume 3, Number 96
Created Date: September 19, 2015
Posted Date: September 19, 2015
The Word “Believe” in the Gospel of John - Part 22 - Final:
The Titles - the Son of David, the Son of Man and the Son of God:
Dateline: New Iberia, Louisiana:
When the Word of God (the Second Person of the Trinity) came to earth,, 2 & 14, He had many names/titles, i.e., Emmanuel, Jesus, Christ, the King of Israel, the King of the Jews, etc., each describing different aspects of His person, attributes and or mission. This study examines the significance of three (3) of His New Testament titles: The Son of David, The Son of Man and The Son of God. I studied each passage in which they appear and created tables listing them. (Please advise if you would like a copy of these tables.) The titles “Son of David” and “Son of Man” are significant to His relationship with the Nation of Israel and His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies/promises to them, as the Apostle Paul succinctly explains: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” .
The phrase, “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came” indicates Christ came as a man in fulfillment of the promises God made to the Patriarchs of Israel. And, as we consider Him as the Son of David and Man its important to keep in mind He came to earth only “... unto to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,”, the Gospel of Matthew presenting Him as King; Mark, as Servant; Luke, as Man and in John, as God Himself. Thus, among other things, these 2 titles showcase the purpose of each respective Gospel.
The Son of David (16 occurrences):
•This title is found only in the first thee Gospel records; 10 in Matthew and 3 each in Mark and Luke,
•Jesus is never quoted as referring to Himself as the Son of David although once He is quoted asking, “how say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David,”.
God used the Prophet Nathan to promise King David; “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”. Isaiah prophesied: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, (David’s father) and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” (See the entire 11th chapter of Isaiah, which details God’s promises for Israel’s everlasting Kingdom to be ruled by their Messiah).
The title “Son of David” does not appear in the Gospel of John because Jesus is presented there as God Himself, and of course it does not appear anywhere else in the New Testament because it has to do with the King - Servant - Man, Jesus Christ Who was born from the lineage of King David. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew begins: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,”(see also ). Mary’s husband Joseph, although not Jesus’ biological father, is described as a son of David. . When Jesus healed the blind and dumb demon possessed man, the Jews were amazed and asked rhetorically “is not this the Son of David” because they expected their Messiah to do this, . Blind men, ; 20:30 & 31; ; and the Canaanite Woman, , addressed Him by this title when they asked for their sight and healing for her daughter respectively, because they expected this from the Son of David. When Jesus asked the learned Pharisees who Israel’s Messiah would be, they answered He would be the Son of David, , see also . And finally, only in the book of Matthew do we find the Jews praising Him as the Son of David when welcoming Him as their King on what we celebrate as Palm Sunday, . (In the parallel passages documenting this event, Mark writes that the people said: “Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” . Luke and John both report they blessed Him as the King of Israel, ; .)
The Son of Man (88 occurrences):
•This title appears exclusively in the four Gospels with only four exceptions; once in Acts, once in Hebrews and twice in Revelation,
•As we will see, it is emphasized in an opposite manner to His “Son of God” title, i.e., it is found most often in Matthew (32); Mark (15); Luke (26) and least in John’s Gospel (12),
•And, unlike His title “Son of God,” Jesus is quoted as referring to Himself as the “Son of Man” on all 32 occasions in Matthew; 13 out of the 15 in Mark; 25 out of the 26 times in Luke 25; and 10 out of the 12 times in John.
The first and last occurrences of the Son of Man title are instructive. It first appears in Matthew when He said “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head,”(see also ). Its last appearance in Matthew is just before His death by crucifixion when He answered the High Priest’s inquisition: “... Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” . This statement points to the last time this title is found in the Bible; in the Apostle John’s vision of its future fulfillment: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle,” . He came lowly and humble the first time to die on the cross, but when He returns it will be to judge in power and great glory.
In Mark, it first appears when He told the Jewish Scribes: “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.”(see also ). It last occurs in Mark when the High Priest asked Jesus if He was the Christ, the Son of the Blessed and Jesus answered: “... I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” . And so we see that God’s perfect Servant, the Man Jesus, has the power to forgive sins and in His glorified state will be imbued with all the Power of God (that’s what it means to be seated on God’s Right Hand) and He will return to earth with that power, Revelation 14:14.
The first time the “Son of Man” title appears in Luke is basically the same as in Mark when Jesus healed the man with palsy to show He had the power to forgive sins,. However, the last time it appears in Luke is when two angels revealed to those who came to the tomb where Jesus’ dead body had been laid: “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again,” .
God gave Adam, the first man, dominion over all the earth,, but when he sinned, he lost it, Genesis 3. Throughout the ages Satan has attempted to usurp universal dominion by man - Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon and in modern days Hitler. (See App 98 of the Companion Bible, http://www.therain.org/appendixes/app98.html) But the Lord Jesus Christ will have this dominion when He reigns as Israel’s King over all the earth. Thus His title Son of Man is used 25 times in relation to His future return to earth and judgment of mankind, ; 13:41; 16:27; 19:28; 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 44; 25:13, 31; ; 13:26; ; 12:40; 17:22, 24, 26, 30; 18:8; 21:27, 36; ; Revelation 14:14. On the other hand, His title Son of God never references this aspect of His person, with the possible exception of .
The Son of God (51 occurrences):
•Predominantly found in the four Gospels (31 times), 8 in Matthew; 5 in Mark; 8 in Luke and most frequently - 10 in John,
•Unlike His Son of Man title, Jesus is quoted referring to Himself with this title only 6 times, 5 in John and once in Revelation. (Jesus answers “I Am” inwhen asked if He was the Son of God),
•And, whereas the Son of Man title never appears in the Pauline epistles, this title appears one time each in Romans, 2 Corinthians, Galatians and Ephesians, as well as twice in Acts, 4 times in Hebrews; 8 times in 1 John as well as the one time in Revelation.
The first 2 times the title Son of God is used in Matthew is when Satan tempted Him, questioning His identity; trying His faith,. Luke’s account of this incident is basically the same, . The demons that Jesus cast out of people also addressed Him with this title in 5 passages, ; ; 5:7; ; 8:28 whereas neither Satan nor the demons ever addressed Him as the Son of Man. The last time this title is found in Matthew is at the cross when the Centurion and those with him said “truly this was the Son of God,” .
The Gospel of Mark begins “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;”. The last time this title is use in Mark “And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God,” .
The first two times this title is used in Luke is when the angel Gabriele tells the virgin Mary “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”, 33 & 35. Its last occurrence in Luke is right after Jesus told the Chief Priests and Scribes that He, the Son of Man, would sit on the right hand of the power of God, , “Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.” Luke 22:70. And, only in Luke do we find one other man besides Jesus called the Son of God, which was Adam: “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God,” . (The words “the son” in italics are not in the original but are supplied from the beginning of this genealogy that begins with “... Jesus ... as was supposed” the son of Joseph,” so “the son” carries throughout the genealogy, thus only two men in history had the title “the son of God,” Adam and Jesus.)
Whereas Matthew, Mark and Luke do not mention the necessity of believing on Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Gospel of John as well as 1st John emphasizes the necessity to do so 9 times,; 6:69; 9:35; 11:27; 20:31; ; 5:5, 10 & 13. (In Acts, the Ethiopian eunuch was saved upon believing Jesus Christ was the Son of God.)
Finally, of special significance to these Faith Studies, we find His title Son of God transcends the dispensations of law and grace, that is, of Israel and the Body of Christ as to faith; for Jesus Christ, in His person as the Son of God, totally fulfilled God’s requirement for faith, “... but without faith it is impossible to please God...,”. To explain: as noted, it was in His person as the Son of God that Satan tried His faith at the beginning of His ministry. He lived by faith in His Father God throughout His life to the end, when the Priests and people tempted and mocked His faith, telling Him to come down from the cross if He was the Son of God, . And it was by faith that He clung to that cross, bled out His last drop of blood, suffered the full extent of excruciating pain, bore our sins and breathed out His last breath, all in order to fulfill His Father’s will. By all this He was the Author and Finisher of Faith, , and we who believe in Him as our Lord and Savior can say with the Apostle Paul - “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Galations 2:20. And, as Paul further teaches, the faith of the Son of God by which we live is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, .