By Jack Cairns
Judeans/Jews living before and during the time of Yeshua had been expecting a Messiah who would be both ‘Son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’. Son of God and Son of Man are descriptive titles (and roles) found within the Brit Chadashah and applied to Yeshua the Nazarite. The original idea of a Messiah was not invented to explain Yeshua since these Messianic titles existed prior to His birth,1 and were meant to define him and therefore help them to recognize him when he would appear. This is why so many Jews were prepared to accept Yeshua as Messiah for the application of the titles was not lost upon the Judeans.
The titles Son of God and Son of Man would be used to reveal Messiah to be both God and Man. The Messianic meaning of Son of Man originates in Daniel 7:13 were “Son of Man’ is understood to be a divine figure. Mattityahu (Matthew 12:39-40) saw the Son of Man to be God the sovereign savior of the world. This was the title Yeshua would most often use for himself.
Son of God, finds its origins in Ps 2:2, 6-7, ”You are my son; today I have begotten you,” and is an ancient understanding that Messiah would also be a human King, a descendant of David. (1 Chronicles 22:10; 2 Corinthians 6:18) The Brit Chadashah would also reveal that this term, while originally understood as a human King, was also divine. (Romans 1:1-4, 9) Son of God and Son of Man reveal that Messiah would be a descendant of King David, who will rule eternally, and also God, who brings salvation into the world through His resurrection from the dead.
1. Boyarin, Daniel. The Jewish Gospels. (New York: The New Press) 72 -73.