By Fred Pruitt
Q: Could you explain what "Son of Man" means.
I could just give the the "rote" theological answer.
But I think "Son of Man" is a very pregnant phrase. "Son of God" we theologically handle pretty well. "Son of Man" is a little more nebulous to us.
"Theologically" Son of God means, obviously, something more universal than God "fathering" a "Son" in the human sense. "Son of God" means the "visible" expression of the Eternally Invisible Deity. The "Word" of God. The Expressed God.
That's kind of old hat.
Son of Man, now that's something else besides. First of all, why not "root of man"?
As "Son of God," He is the "root of man." The Source. No need to quote chapter & verse here.
But why, when He comes as Saviour, is He "Son of Man?"
Here is how it seems to me. For a couple thousand years people have been pulled off into the theological issues of the divine vs. the human nature of Jesus, missing the real one vital key element of the whole thing. (There were even wars & uprisings over this in ages past -- people have been burned at the stake for having the "wrong answer.")
But it is not about, ultimately, solving that theological debate about how much was Jesus of Nazareth "God" and how much was he "human." "Son of Man" means something much more personal to me. Something that matters to me, more than the intellectually correct answer.
When I consider how Jesus was "born of Mary" and this phrase, "Son of Man," together, it only solidifies again for me the realization that the "kingdom of heaven is within you."
It is the "Son of God" from heaven who comes "down" to deliver and save us (truth be told, He actually comes "up from within"). He is the Beyond, the Eternally Other, the Divine Love who appears as Miracle and Grace and Blessing from "beyond" ourselves.
It is the "Son of Man" who rises up as us, living out our human lives, in the totality of our human selves. The "life" that emerges from Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:17, etc., is the Son of Man risen in us, as it was eternally desired. Born of man. In other words, God's eternal plan has been MAN, rising up as MAN, and of course, we're talking the "man in whom the Spirit of God is."
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor 15:21,22)
Salvation, (which MUST come from man), i.e. Christ within us, is an ENTIRELY INNER EVENT. Christ is the "seed of God" it says in 1 John (actually it says "sperm" of God). We are the womb in which the Father plants His seed. When the child is in the womb, no one can see it. Christ "grows up" within us, as the spawn of man, even as Jesus appeared the spawn of Joseph & Mary.
The angel said to Mary: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
God has wonderfully blessed Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the scriptures attest, but today, we ourselves are in the place of Mary. The Divine Seed has been placed within us by the Father, and by the gift of faith we opened ourselves to receive Him. And just as it was told to Mary, that "holy thing" which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
To REALLY be the Son of God, you have to also be the Son of Man. The Son of God brings many sons to glory. The Son of Man walks with those sons, hearing them, seeing them, being one of them, knowing their pains, feeling their pulls, encompassed with their weaknesses, distraught over their sorrows, gladdened by their joys. The Son of Man learns obedience through the things that he suffers (he learns the "death" of the first Adam). What emerges from our human lives as Christ grows up in us is the Perfect expression of the Son of Man as we ourselves, the sons of men in this world. And that is the Son of God.
When I say an "entirely inner event," I mean just that. (That's all there is.) Christ first comes on our "scene," I think, as the outer or apart-from-us "Son of God" to rescue us from the grips of the enemy of our souls & turn us around toward the Divine. But the Divine Seed grows up within us, imperceptible to us, and what comes forth from His Spirit indwelling our spirit, revealing Himself as One Person with us, is the fully human person we were created from eternity to be, i.e. The Son of Man. The Eternal Living God forever revealing Himself as living "men" (ladies included in that, of course). And that is never perceived outwardly, but only from the Light of the inner man within in our faith.
"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
What a commission. What does it mean?
Heaven & earth in sync, for one thing. ONE. Inner -- heaven, & outer -- earth, are One.
They always are.
As "Son of Man" we stand in the place of the Son in the Trinity, in our human lives, to declare the Word of God. Whatever we say, whatever we declare, whatever we take in faith, received from the Father, becomes our reality both "inwardly" and "outwardly."
By our Word we declare the Reality of God the Father. By our Word we declare the Love of God to be going forth from us. By our Word we declare blessing and salvation in our world. That is the place we stand -- to be the Speakers of God. Having been "raised together" with Him, we sit with Him at the Right Hand of the Father, having all authority and dominion over the "earth" we've been given and which we are.
As in Adam all die -- the first Adam, which we were, died in His Cross. The Second Adam, of which we now are, brings the resurrection of the dead, which is first enacted in us and then spoken by us outwardly into the world we live in.
The point is this, I think, in considering the phrase "Son of Man." Salvation, since it was "lost" by man, must be "restored" by man. Man must "find his way" back past the flaming sword that guards Paradise, back back back to his original innocence ("except ye become as little children"), walking in the Garden with the Lord God in the cool of the day. It is with "great tribulation" that we find our way back, as the searing heat of the flaming sword strips us naked again as we were in Paradise, and for us to again enter into that original innocence in which we have no shame for our nakedness. (No more consciousness of "sin." Again -- "What things ye loose in heaven, shall be loosed in earth." -- "According to your faith be it unto you.")
In the death of Christ within us, the idol we'd built our lives around crashes to the ground & fragments into a million pieces, the idol in which we'd clothed ourselves in falseness, the idol of "me" and "mine." "Salvation" is first of all the destruction of that false god, and then the rising again within us of our true selves, naked before God (having no-thing to hold onto or to "cover ourselves by"), but now we are clothed with HIS Glory which He "had with the Father before the world was." Which is the actual "SELF" of GOD! (John 17:5).
The old Adam dies, and by man, the Second Adam, the resurrection of the dead occurs, and an entirely NEW LIFE is born into the world, the Life of the Father, expressed by you and by me.
So, the Son of Man is now you and me, and all those in Christ Jesus, walking this world as Treasure in earthen vessels, showing always that the "excellency of the power is not us, but of God." (1 Cor 4:7).
No longer "Christ after the flesh" means that Jesus of Nazareth is not just an historical figure, whose actions 2000 years ago somehow affected us, but that the Living Christ, the Eternal Jesus (the same yesterday, today, and forever), died and rose again IN US, and we now the "Son of Man" expressing Him in our world. Salvation goes full circle in the "manifestation of the sons of God."