Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It is said that the Gospel of Luke presents Jesus as "the Son of Man"--not the Christ or King or God Incarnate, but distinctively the Son of Man.

What is it in the Gospel of Luke that gives rise to this particular distinction. Why is this assertion made and what is the basis of that statement?

share|improve this question
One point is the genealogy goes to Adam (cf. Abraham for Matt.). – Paul A. Clayton Apr 10 '13 at 16:07
Do you have an example of someone saying this? – Nathaniel Sep 24 '15 at 0:08

"According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus referred to himself as "Son of man" in three contexts, each with its own circle of fairly distinct meanings. He used this self-designation of

(1) his earthly work and its (frequently) humble condition (e.g., Mark 2:10, 28 parr.; Matt 11:19=Luke 7:34; Matt 8:20=Luke 9:58);

(2) his coming suffering, death, and resurrection (Mark 9:9,12; Mark 14:21 and, above all, Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34 parr.);

(3) his future coming in heavenly glory to act with sovereign power at a final judgement (e.g., Mark 8:38; 13:26-27 parr.; Matt 24:27=Luke 17:24; Matt 25:31-32; see John 5:27).

These classifications show how the "Son of man" served as a way of indicating Jesus' importance and even universal relevance. This was especially true of the class (3) sayings. In other words, "Son of man" was used to say what Jesus did rather than what he was. It was not and did not become a title in the normal sense — at least not on the lips of Jesus himself". (taken from

Also remember that this term appears 107 times in the Hebrew Bible.

share|improve this answer
Isn't it also distinct in Ezekiel that when God speaks to him, He calls him, "son of man." I always thought it strange that Ezekiel is "singled out" in the manner. – IAbstract May 6 '15 at 2:31

The Bible says that Jesus became man, and that He remained being God.
John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh"
Colossians 2:9 "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form".

So He is 100% human and 100% God. One person with two natures, and one of them, Son of Man.

This does not mean that he has a sinful human nature. Because His father is God and not man after all. John 8:42 "Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.' "

share|improve this answer

The answer really doesn't depend on any esoteric interpretation, at all. The term "son of man" is vague only if we forget the Semitic tongue of the authors, where they were saying "son of Adam." The genealogy of Yehoshua (Jesus) in Matthew is meant to show the answer to the promise given to Abraham, so it goes only that far. The genealogy of Yehoshua in Luke, however, is meant to show the answer to the promise given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, where a seed is promised who will crush the enemy's head.

Who is the son of Adam that fulfills this promise given to Adam? That's Yehoshua. He's not just a son of Adam; he's the son. We now know that we needn't look for another as a fulfillment of the promise. "It is finished."

share|improve this answer
Welcome! Thanks for the answer. One way to improve it would be to indicate if this is your own analysis, or if it is the view of some published theologians. I hope you'll take the tour and check out some of the other questions and answers we have here! – Nathaniel May 30 at 13:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.