The Gospel of Luke - Part 40: Jesus the Son of Man — Luke 9:37-45
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)


Luke Chapter 9 is about the question, Who is Jesus, Really?

Jesus teaches His disciples, His followers and you and me just who He is. We saw that
   A. He Is The One Sent by God
Last week we saw that:
   B. He Is The Son of God
And we will finish that up today and get started on the fact that
   C. He Is The Son of Man
We will finish this chapter by seeing that
   D. He Is Our Sovereign Lord

Remember that in Luke 9:28-45, the Scriptures highlight two important titles belonging to Jesus: the Son of God and then the Son of Man. Both of these titles are very important in understanding who Jesus is and both are used repeatedly in the Gospels.

Last week we studied the Transfiguration and the fact that it is clear that Jesus is the Son of God. Peter, James and John went up on a hill with Jesus, and Jesus was transfigured before their eyes. Only God can do that. Moses and Elijah appeared with Him to add credibility that He was the fulfillment of the law and the Prophets, what had been prophesied about the Messiah in the Old Testament. Then God sealed the proof by audibly telling them:

“This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”

We also saw last week that even Satan has no doubt about the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. Satan addressed Him that way during the Temptation of Jesus in the desert just after His baptism.

There is one more event that adds proof of the Divinity of Jesus. After the Transfiguration, Luke tells us what happened the next day.

On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples... —Luke 9:37-43
"The next day..."

Jesus and the three Apostles apparently spent the whole night up on the mountain and then returned to the other Apostles the following day. It is then that the fourth proof that Jesus is The Son of God occurred.

Remember that

If that was not enough, there is one more.

When Jesus comes down off the mountain, He casts a demon out of a boy and heals Him. The disciples had been unable to help the boy but Jesus had no problem. Jesus clearly shows His authority over Satan and his servants.

We talked about this a few lessons ago. Hollywood often portrays God and Satan as evenly matched in power and influence. Consider movies like “The Omen” and “The Exorcist”. But the Bible shows clearly that God, including Jesus, is infinitely more powerful than Satan and all his demons.

Let’s look closely at this exorcism by Jesus. After the father came to Jesus begging for help, after the Disciples had tried to cure the son, without any success, Jesus, in verse 41 says, “You unbelieving and perverted generation...

Jesus' response to this request again shows the importance of faith. It is not clear for sure just who Jesus is admonishing. Mark records that Jesus directly addresses the father's lack of faith.

They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” —Mark 9:20-25
Mark seems to think Jesus is addressing the admonishment toward the father.

But He could be criticizing the Apostles' because of their inability to help the boy, which was apparently due to their lack of faith. When the Disciples asked Jesus why they had not been able to drive out the demon, in Mark 9:28, we learn:

When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” —Mark 9:28-29
Or maybe Jesus was speaking to the crowd in general, that had watched His miracles yet refused to really put their faith in Him.

We need always to remember that faith is really important to Jesus.

Is it now clear to you that Jesus is The Son of God? If this series of events does not prove it, then you don’t want to believe it.  God is still in the business of convincing people that Jesus is who He claimed to be.

Listen to this story as told by David Holdaway, a Christian writer:

“After six years given to the impartial investigation of Christianity as to its truth or falsity, I have come to the deliberate conclusion that Jesus Christ is the Messiah of the Jews, the Savior of the world, and my personal Savior."
These were the words of Lew Wallace, Governor of New Mexico, over a century ago. He had started out to write a book against Jesus Christ and in the process was converted to Christianity. He told a friend how it happened:
I had always been an agnostic and denied Christianity. Robert C. Ingersoll, a famous agnostic, was one of my most intimate friends. He once suggested, "See here, Wallace, you are a learned man and a thinker. Why don't you gather material and write a book to prove the falsity concerning Jesus Christ, that no such man has ever lived, much less the author of the teachings found in the New Testament. Such a book would make you famous. It would be a masterpiece, and a way of putting an end to the foolishness about the so-called Christ."

The thought made a deep impression on me, and we discussed the possibility of such a book. I went to Indianapolis, my home, and told my wife what I intended. She was a member of the Methodist Church and naturally did not like my plan. But I decided to do it and began to collect material in libraries here and in the old world. I gathered everything over that period in which Jesus Christ, according to legend, should have lived.

Several years were spent in this work. I had written nearly four chapters when it became clear to me that Jesus Christ was just as real a personality as Socrates, Plato, or Caesar. The conviction became a certainty. I knew that Jesus Christ had lived because of the facts connected with the period in which he lived.

I was in an uncomfortable position. I had begun to write a book to prove that Jesus Christ had never lived on earth. Now I was face to face with the fact that he was just as historic a personage as Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Virgil, Dante, and a host of other men who had lived in olden days. I asked myself candidly, "If he was a real person (and there was no doubt), was he not then also the Son of God and the Savior of the world?" Gradually the consciousness grew that, since Jesus Christ was a real person, he probably was the one he claimed to be.

I fell on my knees to pray for the first time in my life, and I asked God to reveal himself to me, forgive my sins, and help me to become a follower of Christ. Towards morning the light broke into my soul. I went into my bedroom, woke my wife, and told her that I had received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

"O Lew," she said, "I have prayed for this ever since you told me of your purpose to write this book, that you would find him while you wrote it!"
Lew Wallace did write a very famous book. It was a masterpiece and the crowning glory of his life's work. He changed the book he was originally writing and used all his research to write another book.
"Now every time I watch the epic film made from that book and see Charlton Heston racing those four magnificent white horses in that amazing chariot race, I wonder how many who have seen Ben Hur, with its moving references to Jesus, know it was written by a man who wanted to disprove that Jesus ever existed, and instead became convinced that he was the greatest man who ever lived!" (David Holdaway)
So we have now answered a part of the question, Who Is Jesus, Really?

C.   He Is The Son of Man:

And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. —Luke 9:43-45
Jesus calls Himself the son of Man.  "Son of Man" was an Old Testament title for the Messiah:
I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. —Daniel 7:13
This is a title Jesus took for Himself. It is used over 80 times in the Gospels, often by Jesus when speaking of Himself. It is used 25 times in the book of Luke and 4 times in this chapter (all by Jesus, describing Himself):
...saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” —Luke 9:22

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. —Luke 9:26

Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. —Luke 9:44

And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” —Luke 9:58
John MacArthur tells us in his Matthew Commentary:
“Son of Man” was Jesus’ most common designation of Himself. ... It is clearly recognized by Jews as a title of the Messiah (see Daniel 7:13); but because it emphasized His humanness, many Jews preferred not to use it. No doubt it was for that reason that Jesus did prefer it — to focus on the humiliation and submission of His first coming and His work of sacrificial, substitutionary atonement.”
Jesus wants us to understand who He is. Just as He was fully God, so also was He fully human. Jesus refers to Himself as the "Son of Man" 83 times in the Gospels, so it must be an important concept.

What evidence of His humanity do we see in the Scriptures? During the early centuries of the church, there were many groups that challenged the fact of Jesus' humanity. In our century, more challenges are made concerning His deity. Today, society accepts that He was human, but not that He was also God.

 The evidence for His humanity is clear:

  1. He Was Born:

    Jesus entered the world as an infant. Can you imagine going from being God to being a baby? It's important to understand that He really was born of a virgin mother. If He had had two biological parents, He would also have had a sin nature. Scripture repeatedly emphasizes that Mary was a virgin until after Jesus was born:

    “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” —Matthew 1:23 a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. —Luke 1:27
  2. He Grew:

    Little is known of the life Jesus between the time of His birth and the beginning of His ministry. Luke 2:39-52 is our only glimpse of His childhood. Yet even in these verses, He is our example — in respect for elders, in submission to parents, in growing in all areas of life.

    And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.  And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. —Luke 2:51-52
  3. He Died:

    This is what Jesus specifically spoke of in this passage. As you can see, this was very upsetting to the disciples! Their concept of a Messiah did not include One who suffered and died:

    And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. —Luke 9:43-45
    Jesus genuinely experienced death. He didn't just faint or go into a coma, as some have said in trying to explaining away His resurrection.
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.—1 Corinthians 15:3
Consider these ways in which He demonstrated His humanity:
  1. Physical attributes: Jesus experienced the same physical limitations that we do. He became hungry and thirsty. He got tired. When we read about Him getting up early to spend time with His Father or staying up all night to pray, we need to remember that these things we as hard for Him as they are for us!
  2. Emotional attributes:  Jesus demonstrated real emotions. He laughed, He cried, He grieved.
  3. Spiritual Attributes:   Jesus engaged in the same spiritual struggles that we experience. Jesus knows what it is like to live, to be tempted, to struggle with spiritual issues. Remember how He prayed in the garden the night before He was crucified. He prayed fervently with sweat falling like drops of blood. He repeatedly asked His Father to deliver Him from the cross.
Why is it important to appreciate Jesus’ humanity, that He was fully human during His time on earth? There are many purposes that we might list why Jesus became fully human but here are three for you to consider:

1.   To reveal God to us.

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. —John 1:18
Jesus, was God in human form while on earth. This meant that we were able to “see” what God is like more clearly. If we want to know what is important to God or how God responds to people, all we have to do is look at the life of Jesus.

2.   To provide an example for us Jesus showed us how to live. He is our example in all things.

3.   To be the perfect sacrifice for sin

Jesus did what no one else can or will ever do: He lived a sinless life and then died to pay the penalty for our sins:

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! —John 1:29

...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. —1 Peter 1:18-19
Here’s another passage emphasizing the importance to us of Jesus being fully human:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:15-16
Jesus can sympathize. There is no temptation, no struggle in life we face that Jesus cannot understand. Also, because He was fully human, He serves as our example in all things. His humanity should be a tremendous incentive for us to "draw near" to Him.

So we have seen that Jesus was:


Next week — we will look at the fact that He is also Our Sovereign Lord, and what that means.