What is meant by “Son”?
When we read the New Testament, the title “Son,” or “Son of God,” could be misleading since it may conjure up ideas of Greek gods and pantheons. I remember when the Disney movie Hercules came out in theatres back in late 1997, where Zeus had a biological son, Hercules. It is important to note that this is not what is meant by the title “Son of God.”
There are two main titles for the Messiah in the New Covenant: Son of God and Son of Man. While most people think that Son of God refers to the divine nature of the Messiah, and Son of Man refers to the human nature of the Messiah, it is actually the opposite which is true.
Son of God was a title used for the Davidic Kings in the Hebrew Bible; it was a royal term. And after the destruction of the first temple, a hope developed for the future son of God, the ultimate Davidic King, who would reign on David’s throne forever. So, when Yeshua is called “Son of God,” he is claiming to be a royal figure.
Son of Man comes from Daniel chapter 7, where the prophet had a vision of a divine being — one like the Son of Man — who sat on the throne of God and who is worshiped and revered by the people. This speaks of His divinity. This is why, when Yeshua was on trial and He was asked by the High Priest about His identity, He quoted from Daniel 7 saying that He is the Son of Man. The High Priest tore his clothes and said “Blasphemy!”
So, the title Son in Hebrews carries both the Royal Position and the Divine Nature of the Messiah — and these are two major pillars that the author of Hebrews sets up to build his case for Yeshua’s identity.
Yeshua as Prophet and King
Now, when we consider this three-fold ministry of the Messiah (Prophet, Priest, and King), we often have no problem with Yeshua being the final priest. We love the idea of a savior. But living in light of Yeshua’s status as a final Prophet or the final King is harder, because it requires a response from us.
For Yeshua to be our king, that does not just mean that He is in charge of our lives, but it also means we are committed to His kingdom. This implies have a different set of convictions, priorities, allegiances, and lifestyle. When Yeshua was with His disciples, He warned them about this very issue: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world” (Jn 15:19).
When I was growing up, people used to have WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) on their bracelets. But this is still an important question because it helps us think: Are we living as citizens of His kingdom?