Sometimes people have difficult time wrapping their minds around the concept of the Trinity, how Jesus could be man and God at the same time, and that Jesus really did face the same things we did while living as a man, especially when He knew Who He was all along. When we understand that Jesus holds three positions, and each position is independent of the other, yet still in the One, these concepts are easier grasp. Three positions that He has are the Son of man, the Son of God, and God the Son. Each has its own characteristics and purposes. While it may be impossible to fully address this subject in this series of blogs (or a whole book for that matter), here is a brief synopsis of those positions. It would behoove the reader to study this out for a deeper understanding. The prayer is that the Lord will reveal Himself in a much greater way as you do.
As the Son of Man, Jesus represents man to God as a peer. At His baptism with John, Jesus identified with man, as we read in Matthew 3:13-15, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him” (emphasis added, KJV). Did Jesus need to be baptized for the remission of sins? Absolutely not, but in order to fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law, and take on the sin of the world as the Lamb of God (see John 1:29), Jesus had to be able to identify with man. To baptize means more than submersion, it means to identify with, just as one dips a piece of clothe in dye. For example, if one immerses a white shirt in red dye, the color of the shirt changes to match the dye. The shirt just identified with the dye. Because He identified with us, we also read, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV). Thus as the Son of man, He died on the Cross. Philippians 2:7-8 puts it this way, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (KJV).
Hebrews 2:14-18 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (help, or aid) them that are tempted (KJV). In His humanity, Jesus faced every temptation we face, yet without sin (see Hebrews 4:15). Hebrews 5:8 clearly shows us that Jesus did indeed suffer as a man: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (KJV). In order to come to our aid, Jesus had to suffer, and He did it for our sakes.
Because God is just in every minute detail, we also discover that Jesus as the Son of man judges man, not as the Son of God or God the Son. Jesus makes this very clear in John 5:27, “And (the Father) hath given Him (Jesus) authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man” (emphasis for clarity added, KJV). At His first coming, Jesus came to save sinners; however, at the Second Coming, He will execute judgment. Just as He died as our peer, which gave Satan no legal standing to declare it unjust or unfair, Jesus will also execute judgment as a peer. Incidentally, it was Michael the Archangel, who kicked Satan out of heaven, not God. That is to say, while it was God’s decision to expel him, He used Michael who was Satan’s peer, to do the job.
Finally to recap: Jesus came to the earth as a baby born of a virgin. While His mother Mary should be honored, we should realize that she was the mother of the Son of man, but she was not “the mother of God.” After all, how can a human being be a mother to an everlasting God? Jesus grew up as any child does, and lived as a man. This means that He also had to be led of the Spirit, spoke what He heard the Father say, and did what He saw the Father do. Finally, He died as a man for man, and was declared the Son of God by the Resurrection (see Romans 1:4). He will return as the Son of man to execute judgment. These are just a few attributes of Jesus’ position as the Son of man.