When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?
The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
“You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
“Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
Relate: Growing up as a kid in the Assemblies of God, there was something we had in our churches called the JBQ Fact Pack. This was a collection of three hundred Bible question cards color-coded for the level of difficulty. On one side of the card would be the question with the flip side containing the answer. The cards were meant to be used in official Bible Quiz competitions with other churches, but they served as the medium for all types of games and activities. To this day, many decades later, if a certain question is asked, my mind can picture the corresponding card and I will immediately be able to spit back the answer verbatim.
With at least two of those cards, I later learned the answer was wrong. Those cards asked, “What is Jesus’ title of humanity?” and “What is Jesus’ title of divinity?” The answers we were supposed to spit back were “Son of Man” and “Son of God”. On the surface, these answers look obviously true, but when you dig past the surface it quickly becomes apparent that this is not true. An obvious example is our scripture posted above for today’s reading. In speaking to the formerly blind man Jesus says to him, “I am the son of man.” The man believes and worships Jesus. If “son of man” was a title of divinity, then this would be entirely the wrong response. It is not, because it is not.
In the Old Testament, many people who are clearly not divine are called sons of God. David is called this in the Psalms. So is Solomon. The angels are called sons of God in Job. The people of Israel are called this in Exodus. In the New Testament, the church is often called children of God but keep in mind that the Greek is masculine so “children” is simply a kowtowing to modern political correctness. Jesus referring to himself as “son of God” is not a title of divinity but rather a demonstration that he is someone, like other great men before and after, who has a special relationship with God.
In the same way, Son of Man is not the title of humanity it seems. The reason the formerly blind man worshipped Jesus when the Messiah applied this title to himself is because the man knew his scripture. In Daniel, we read, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given to him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” This understanding of the Son of Man, first voiced in Daniel became huge in the time between the Old and New Testaments. It can be seen in a lot of that intertestamental literature and it would have been commonly known by everyone in Israel. So when Jesus called himself “Son of Man” he was not saying “I’m just a human” but rather, “I am worthy to be worshipped.” When Jesus used this phrase for himself at his trial, the religious leaders tore their robes, shouted he is a blasphemer and that there was no need for further witnesses. They knew exactly what he was saying.
React: Do we? Do I? The man Jesus had healed had just been grilled by the religious leaders and mocked for his ignorance. His own parents refused to back him up and he most likely had just been kicked out of the synagogue. But this man when being questioned said, “I might not know all about that. All I know is that I once was blind but now I see.” This was enough. It was more than enough. God has miraculously healed me. He has provided for me time and again. He has protected me. Yet I have found myself frustrated and stir crazy, as I am cooped up in my house required by law not to leave my city and on the weekends not to leave the house. Trying to maintain a social life through online zoom calls just doesn’t seem to be enough. I have been gifted this beautiful opportunity these past weeks to shut the world off and draw closer to the Son of Man. Yet I have wasted so much on Netflix and stupid app games. Perhaps in the time remaining of this mandated quarantine I, we, should double down on the cry to know more of the Son of Man.
Let this song be true in my own life. Be more than enough for me. When I get frustrated at the inadequacy of trying to teach online rather than in-person help me to remember, this may not be enough, but You are. When meeting through facetime does not feel good enough, help me to lean on You. In this time of distancing from the world, help me to draw closer to You.