January 2: Jesus, the Son of Man

Read Hebrews 4:1-16

“. . . Jesus . . . asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?'” (Mt. 16:13).

If you have ever battled depression, you may have had someone who seems to always be on top of the world say, “Get over it!” If you have experienced a horrible loss in your life, maybe you’ve had someone who has never experienced grief try to give you advice. If you have ever been on the rollercoaster ride associated with a wayward child, you may have had a person who isn’t a parent tell you what you did wrong.

Even if (and that is a BIG “if”) what the person shared was valid, somehow his or her message was likely lost because you did not consider them to be a credible source of help. After all, they hadn’t shared your experience.

Although many of the other names and titles ascribed to Jesus emphasize His divinity and exalted position, “Son of Man” draws attention to the fact that you and Christ have much in common. You share humanity with Him. Through His virgin birth, divinity took on humanity. John tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn. 1:14a). As One, then, who has shared our experiences, Christ is “able to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15).

We must be careful, however, not to project all of our human frailties and weaknesses onto Christ. He is not only human. He is also divine. He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses from His own experience. (See v. 15a.) But He is also able to give us strength out of His limitless power. (See Is. 40:29.) Although He was tempted in every way, just as we are, still He was without sin, and He generously provides us with the means to avoid temptation. (See 1 Cor. 13:13.) Jesus Christ is the Son of Man who identifies with the experiences of human life. But He is also able to rescue us from the difficulties of humanity.

Incarnate Christ . . . Thou who camest like me, Thou knows all my weaknesses But still my strength canst be. (from “O Thou Who Camest From Above”, a hymn by Charles Wesley)


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