Jesus combined strength with tenderness (see previous blog), demonstrating this balance of excellence. Today I will explain how Jesus combined both attributes of the Son of Man and the Son of God. I realize the depth of this subject. Who am I to write on this difficult subject with my limitations? Besides, I am far from my home in Canada, and my library. On second thought, this can be a blessing in disguise, when I can write my own reasoning, free of the fear of reprisal.
Jesus purposely adopted the name “the Son of Man”. He most likely chose that name from the book of Ezekiel. This was a genius move. Sometimes we can get so familiar reading the Bible that we fail to catch the unique and distinctive features of certain terms or phrases. Ask yourself “Why did he not accept the honourable title of a Prophet, or at least a Rabbi or the Son of David etc.?” He could have easily taken any or all of them.
In the first place – in line with his Mission Statement – He came to seek and to save that which is lost. How could he accomplish the mission without fully identifying with human beings? After all, didn’t He voluntarily take the form of man?
Furthermore, He identified himself as an ordinary person. In fact, he was a carpenter for most of his life – 30 years out of 33. In many parts of the world, even today, a carpenter is of the lower strata in society. The religious leaders asked, in condescension, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? (Mark 6:3)” Do not forget that carpentry, in those days, didn’t include driving around in a bad-ass F-150 with power tools and a heavy load of respect. It is generally accepted that Joseph –his father – died earlier, leaving the family responsibility to Jesus.
Jesus – this lowly son of man – wanted to show that his religion is not only for the privileged, but for all. Coming from India, I am well aware of the struggles between classes. Comparing the Jewish classifications, he was neither Brahmin (priestly) nor Kshatria (kingly). He made sure citizens in his new kingdom would be casteless and colour blind, welcome from ALL parts of the world.
He also wanted to demonstrate that ordinary folks can become extraordinary! Allow me to go a step higher. As son of man, he respected human personalities. Remember Zacchaeus? This little man was a hated publican and Sinner. But to Jesus he was the son of Abraham (Luke 19:9)!
Jesus subjected himself to human needs; hunger, thirst, rest, sleep, and emotions. He purposely did not isolate himself to a monastery or a cave. On the contrary, he was a party man. Recall the wedding at Cana, or the party hosted by Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36). There are more examples, but I must stop here.
Though fully man, he did not waver one inch from his belief and claims that he was the Son of God. He boldly appropriated, from the very beginning, the prophecy of Isaiah (Luke 4:18-19) concerning himself. Recall the famous few verses of St. John’s gospel 1:1-5. Then there is the most popular verse of The Bible (John 3:16). Notice the words, the “only begotten son” of God. Remember those famous words “I am”. I am the bread of life, I am the light of the world, before Abraham was I am, I am the door, I am the way, the truth and the life, and so on. Indeed, there is too much to mention in this brief blog. These are very strong words. No religious leader came even close. Kings and kingdoms, emperors and empires, religious leaders and thinkers, prophets and holy men have come and gone, but the Kingdom of Heaven which Jesus started is still advancing. No one can stop it.
Throughout his life, he maintained one goal: establishing a kingdom! Not provincial, but universal and eternal. How did he do it? He combined in his own life, without any defects of virtues (read my blog on this), the two most important factors – fully Man and fully God. You see this co-relation in the healing of the man with paralysis, recorded in St. Mark 2:7-12. The Doctor’s Law of his time said “only God can forgive sins”. Verse 10 confirms that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins as well as heal.
I would like to end this blog with a quotation from St. Thomas* the Doubter, one of the 12 disciples. Thomas’ final recognition and exclamation of Jesus was; My Lord and My God. St. John 20:28.
*On a personal note, I studied at St. Thomas College, Trichur, India. The tradition strongly suggests that St. Thomas landed in Kerala, India (my birth place), in the very first century, before Christianity spread to Europe. The popular road in Madras, South India, is called St. Thomas Road. This leads to St. Thomas mount, where Thomas was martyred. The Doubting Thomas lived, preached and died for the Son of Man and the Son of God!