…Unto Us A Son Is Given.”
This is about as close to a “Christmas message” I have ever given. I feel the Lord has been speaking to me about why Jesus called Himself the Son of Man and showing me why it is so significant. Have you ever wondered why Jesus referred to Himself by this name 85 times in the four gospels and rarely as the Son of God? It has to do with the very nature of the gospel itself. There is a curious verse in the Psalms that gives us a clue…
What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Ps 8:4, ESV)
The writer of Hebrews picked up on the significance of this verse and wrote:
It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:6-9, ESV)
He went on to write:
For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:16-18, ESV)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16, ESV)
Isn’t He also the Son of God in the New Testament? Yes, just as this great truth was revealed to Peter by divine revelation, He is both and we see both titles used to refer to Him in the following passage:
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (Matt 16:13-17, ESV)
He came into this world conceived by the Spirit of God and born of a woman, but He did so that He might be one with us and enable us to become one with Him and His Father. Jesus is the Son of God in His position as the Father’s representative before men, but He is the Son of Man in His role as our advocate before the Father. He is the Great High Priest in heavenly places and here on earth.
None of the righteous men of old could undo what the devil did in Adam and his offspring. All the laws and commandments of the Old Covenant could not save man no matter how hard he tried to obey. As the Son of God, Jesus came to earth in human form and identified with us so we could identify with Him not only as a son of man, but also as the very Son of God. Jesus was saying this very thing to that old Pharisee, Nicodemus, who was all about law keeping.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17, ESV)
He didn’t come in the form of a powerful angelic being (for everyone who has seen angels was very afraid), but rather He took the form of a humble, lowly human, born in a stable of poor and lowly parents. He was not born in Herod’s palace as the wise men from the east assumed. No, He was born in a stable and spent most of His life in a back-water town in Galilee of the Gentiles known as Nazareth. Here He was rejected even by His own earthly kin. He was hunted down by the religious and governmental establishment that wanted to kill him. In short, Jesus came to identify with the majority of mankind, even those of the lowest estate possible (see Philippians 2:5-9).
As Isaiah prophesied, in the eyes of men He was a mere root out of dry ground with no form or comeliness, and there was nothing about Him that men should desire Him. He became THE Son of Man that we might be able to identify with Him so much that we would also want to be the restored sons and daughters of God. An angel couldn’t have done this. As Isaiah prophesied over 700 years before His birth:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isa 9:6-7, ESV)
What is man that God is mindful of him? The answer is in “the Son of Man.” Have you ever wondered why God has chosen you to be saved from your former life of sin and given a whole new source of life IN Christ? It wasn’t because we did anything worthy of it, that’s for sure. “Unto us a Son is given.” What a marvellous revelation! This new life IN Christ is a free gift from our Father in heaven. There is nothing we can do to earn it or deserve it, nor is there anything we can do by ourselves to pay Him back or improve on it. The very life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has been given us to abide in for now and all eternity. All we can do is LIVE in Christ like we never have lived before and leave all our spiritual darkness behind as we abide in His light. Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Paul wrote, “What shall we say if we neglect so great a salvation?”
Yes, it is the zeal and power of God Himself that is accomplishing this that He might be glorified in all of His creation with many sons and daughters created after the divine pattern of His Son. For unto us a Child was born and into us a Son was given. This very thought completely blows my mind! God’s plan from the beginning was to have a family whose members would share in the glory and grace of Jesus Christ. As Isaiah prophesied,
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. (Isa 9:2, ESV)
Peter expanded on this when he wrote,
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1Pet 2:9, ESV)
We were once the sons and daughters of fallen Adam, but God so loved man that He gave all who believe in the Son of Man everlasting life and the power to become the sons and daughters of God. Everlasting life without beginning or end, the very life of Jesus Christ (see John 3:15-17). There was the first Adam, who fell under the power of Satan along with his offspring, and there is the Last Adam who is the be all and end all of LIFE as God sees life. Thus it is written, “’The first man Adam became a living being;’ the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1Cor 15:45, ESV) THAT life is what it means to be IN Christ–to be born again–born of the Spirit of God. Under the guidance and leading of the Spirit, we share our new life with others that they can also have life. Without this life from above, they will remain so many walking Zombies, not knowing that they are led about by the devil himself because of that old adamic nature, just as we once were.
The writer of Hebrews went on to write,
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25, ESV)
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Heb 9:24, ESV)
We are not in this new life alone. Jesus didn’t just save us and turn us lose on our own recognizance and give us the artificial stimulus of church attendance to see us through. Jesus quoted from this passage as referring to Himself,
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD… To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isa 61:1-3, NKJV)
As you can see by the above passage, what God had in mind for us is much more than getting saved and going to church. Jesus was not sent to the earth to start a new religion and make millions of converts. He came that HE might be ALL in all. We are ever in fellowship with the Father IN Christ. Jesus is our advocate, our intercessor, our counsellor, our source of heavenly peace and by His Spirit He is our Teacher. He is the veil that was torn from top to bottom making way for us into the very presence of God. We are His trees of righteousness, the very planting of the Lord. We are His heavenly vineyard placed there for His good pleasure that we might also enjoy His presence and be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil 1:11, ESV)
Praise His glorious name forever!