SON OF MAN (Part one of a three part sermon series.)

“The Son of Man” is a designation of Christ found frequently in the NT. It was Jesus’ favorite designation of himself to imply both his messianic mission and his full humanity.”

Dale Ellenburg and John B. Polhill


1. The Son of Man signifies and conceals Christ’s Messiahship.

  1. Jesus avoided the use of the term MESSIAH (lit “Anointed one” Greek “Christ”).

    1. It had militaristic connotations.

    2. It had political connotations.

Why is this important?

  • What we presuppose or imagine God to be has consequences. God is not the sum of all our fallen hopes and dreams. He is the sum total of Himself and he shares Himself with us.

  • “Thy kingdom come” will not be brought about through legislation but through the second coming.

  • Even today the name of Christ (Messiah) is misused or exploited for military or political purposes. (Examples: Mid-Eastern politics: Christian Zionism, Political party platforms: How would Jesus vote? Or building a “nation under God”)

2. The Christian teaching concerning The Incarnation is linked with the title Son of Man.

  1. Incarnation: “This term refers, in the first instance, to the act wherein the eternal Son “became flesh,” but it is extended to signify the whole experience of human life into which he entered, and also embraces within its reference the fact that Christ still bears his humanity and will do so forever.” C. W. Carter

      • And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV)

  • The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (John 1:14, The Message)

  1. The Christian teaching of incarnation has a divine order or direction to it.

    1. Think of the song Lord I Lift Your Name on High… “You Came from Heaven to Earth..”

    2. No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:13, ESV)

      • Our culture is really becoming more and more… anthropocentric in its world view. Anthropocentric is a ten dollar word that basically means man centered in these three ways:

      1. Human beings are the central fact of the universe.

      1. As a worldview it assumes that human beings are the final aim and end of the universe.

      2. This world view seems to view and interpret everything in terms of human experience and values.



Man Centered Worldview

Man Centered Worldview


God Centered Worldview

God Centered Worldview














Why is this important?

  1. The Son of Man means God is in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.  2 Corinthians 5:19

  2. Jesus was not thinking of ME ABOVE ALL he was thinking of the FATHER ABOVE ALL. John 3:16

  3. Because you know that Jesus represents the Father you can be confident that God The Father Almighty has extended his loving hand of Grace to you through the incarnation of Jesus as The Son of Man.


John 3:13–18

Will you trust and receive The Son of Man today?

““No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:13–18, The Message)



This Sunday’s sermon Mark 2:1-12 Title: Jesus is The Source of Forgiveness and Healing.

Text:And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”” (Mark 2:1–12, ESV)

Title: Jesus is The Source of Forgiveness and Healing.

  • The Source… Jesus is authority (He has called and they came in his own authority, He casts out demons in His own authority, He heals and forgives in His own authority.)
  • Forgiveness…  Only God can forgive sins. Jesus acts with the will and authority of God to forgive through Grace.
  • Healing… Image restoration.

Note on the relationship between sin and disease: Humans are in the image of God but we are all broken by the fall. As a result there is dis-ease (sins moral and natural blight on humanity) in every aspect of our very being…
Our Physical nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Spiritual nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Emotional nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Mental nature has been broken by dis-ease.
Our Volitional (our free will, desires, dreams, ability to choose) nature has been broken by dis-ease.
NOTE:Some say this brokenness is complete (people are 100 % percent broken) While others say this brokenness is total (every aspect of our being mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and  volitional, has been cracked by the fall) I personally hold  to a total brokenness (or depravity) position.

We need to understand from this text that
1. Jesus announces that He is The Source of forgiveness and love. ILLUSTRATION: Priest from the middle ages in France would say to the sick who came to them… “You have sinned and God is afflicting you. Thank Him, you will suffer so much less torment in the life to come”

2. Coming to Jesus as the source of forgiveness and love does not result in being turned away in this life or the next.

3. Healing is not only Physical!

4. Christ is God (Exodus 15:26 “I am the Lord who heals you”)

5. Our forgiving and healing relationship with God should carry over into our sphere of influence.

Congregational questions for discussion…
1. Do the Sick like you and I have full access to our Jesus and His church or are we fencing the well somewhere?
2. Do we see Christ as God or Gods separate helper? (example: is the Father angry at you and the Son is kind?)
3. Are we disgusted/angry about sins effect on us or are we angry about the effect of sinners on us? Which attitude is healthy and which one is not? Why?

Theologically dehumanizing people….

“Homophobia is LIKE racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to DEHUMANIZE a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” Coretta Scott King

Wow I just came across a profound quote by Coretta Scott King. It really puts into perspective how we can attempt to “dehumanize” an issue in order to avoid dealing with our fears or phobias.  I do this all the time with other cultures and people that I am afraid of or not familiar with. It is the easy way to deal with the human condition… to dehumanize it. I have been taught how to theologically dehumanize people. I am learning how to be more Christlike… now when I disagree with a person, don’t understand them or don’t sin like them…  I need to remember that I should not deny them their , humanity, dignity or personhood.  In that sense we both bear the image of God… our humanity.

Profound. I am thankful Jesus died for my phobias. I don’t want to reduce people to theological problems anymore in the name of Christ.

Sermon prep Mark 1:14–15 (as usual I welcome your questions, thoughts and perspectives)

Here is the text I will be working on this week for Sundays sermon (as usual I welcome your thoughts and perspectives)…

  • Mark 1:14–15 (The Message)

14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: 15 “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”

  • Mark 1:14–15 (ESV)

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

  • Mark 1:14–15 (NLT)

14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

“God lets his children tell the story.” Pete Enns

Peter Enns is a leading Old Testament Scholar (Ph.D. from Harvard  in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations). I enjoy reading his views concerning how we should interpret the scriptures and how they are authoritative for us today. I was blessed by this article this morning thought you might be as well.

“God lets his children tell the story.”

“The Bible is what happens when God allows his children to tell his story–which means the biblical writers told the story from their point of view, with their limitations, within the cultural context in which they wrote.”

“When children tell the story of their father or mother, parents are typically delighted by how much they get and the childlike way that they see the world. But they are also well aware that children miss a lot when they tell the story, and invariably refract the complexities of family life through their own youthful vision.”

“This is a way of understanding why the Bible behaves the way that it does. It bears the marks of the limitations of the cultures.”

Ten things you need to know when talking with an evangelical. Number One: How to respond to the question: “How are you doing?”

First of all I probably don’t know what I’m talking about. If you are an evangelical you might read this and say something along the lines of “I don’t sound like that!” or “you have a chip on your shoulder.”… and you may be right… who am I to judge?  I can only speak from my experience as an evangelical learning the language with all its subtle cultural nuances. I want to share 10 things I have learned that help me understand, communicate and even discern the sometimes complex community language of evangelicalism. The first thing I want to address is how to answer the question “How are you doing?” when asked by an evangelical.

1. How are you doing?” Perhaps In many other cultures and clubs this phrase generally means “I care and would like to actually understand how you are doing.” however, in many evangelical circles when you are asked this question it is similar to a pitching coach asking a struggling pitcher during a mound visit “hey, how are you feeling?” after he has given up a grand slam and walked ten batters in a row.  What I have learned is that if I am asked this question by certain kinds of evangelicals it really means something like this… “I see your struggling, I am not, so I figured I would come and see if you are really one of us”.

(At this point I feel compelled to add that if you can identify with me so far you will understand the rest of what I am about to say but if you are not following me up to this point the following will probably bother you… and you should stop reading now and follow this link to hone your skills.)

How are you doing?

Now, let me take a moment and bring the analogy of the struggling baseball pitcher up again. When approached by the coach and asked “how are you doing?” what he really means is “I see you are struggling we have a guy warming up who isn’t struggling should we replace you… loser?” At this point a real competitor is forced to lie to the coach and lying is acceptable in baseball, deception is actually a part of the rules. This poses a problem however to the evangelical when a religiously well armed stronger believer asks you “how are you doing?” you know that you need to play your next move with great wisdom. You may need to lie (which is a sin) in order to avoid the smiling moral and behavioral shtick you are probably going to receive from one of God’s own scripturally certified behavioral emissaries.

 What I am trying to say? You really only have one of two responses to the question “How are you doing?”

1. If you say the truth “I am not doing well.” you will probably be forced to hear one of the many thousands of scriptures that they have memorized just for times like these. We as evangelicals have been well trained like emergency room technicians to diagnose and treat any issue with pithy sayings, scripture or aphorisms all before you can even explain why you are not doing well. Things like empathy or sympathy generally get in the way of our commission to restore you to faith and spiritual health. You see in my experience many of my evangelical brothers and sisters don’t actually hear a person  say “I am not doing well.” What they really hear is “Help! I don’t have enough faith”, or “Help! I don’t understand all of God’s promises”, or “Help! I don’t know a relevant scripture passage”, or “Help! I don’t understand the concept that right thinking leads to right actions.”

2. You can lie. “I am wonderful! Hey thanks for asking.” The response you will probably hear from us will be something like “Great! keep it up… by the way would you like to become more involved in church ministry?”

Well that’s all for today. I hope this helps you on your journey in the world of evangelicalism. I won’t lie sometimes it’s hard but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. You might think this rant sounds as if I have a chip on my shoulder. At least that’s what my wife just told me after I read it to her. She told me to wait a couple of days before I send it off. I appreciate that advice and it is probably wise but on the other hand evangelicals have many “chips on their shoulders” it’s just usually not with themselves (in a corporate sense) it’s almost always others. I have acted and will probably act again as one of  “God’s own scripturally certified behavioral emissaries.” and I hate that but I am happy that at this stage in my spiritual growth my own hypocrisy is far more real to me than others.  I love being an evangelical it’s real, it’s my family and we’re all growing.

By the way “how are you doing”?