All religious groups have major principles that govern their faith. For instance, Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad is the prophet who was sent by Allah (God) to come and liberate his people. It is just in this same way that Christians from all walks of life from around the world profess their faith in God through Jesus Christ who is commonly referred to as The Son of Man. It is through him that the Christian faith was born and almost everything therein is attributed to God through him. When he came into the world, a new kind of worship came into being that acknowledged him as the son of God that had come to save and restore the world from sin. He had several roles that his position pitted him to play and the three major ones are those of a prophet, a priest and also the king apart from being human is also divine.
The Son of Man came into the word as a prophet who was sent into the world by God. A prophet sent by God is one who speaks on behalf of God telling the people what God wants them to hear and know. It is therefore evident that The Son of Man did exactly this as he went round the villages at the time, to tell the people that which portrayed him as a man only sent by the God. The Bible talks of him having been sent by God to reveal that which the Father wanted his people to know (Matt 11: 16). He also spoke the things that God wanted him to speak as revealed in (John 8: 28) just like all the other prophets that had come before him. It is therefore imperative to note that his role as a prophet was revealed not only through his actions but also through the words he spoke to the people who listened to him.
His role as a prophet is further seen through some of the happenings in the New Testament. One such incident is when he went to the well and found the woman from whom he asked for a drink. After their exchange that they had, the woman strongly believes that he is a prophet and thus goes on to call people to him. This manifestation is a clear indicator that He had the powers that had been put in Him by God and through his actions; he can be equated to the other prophets that had come before him. Further on, He asks His disciples to tell him who the people said He was and it is clear from the answers that they gave that some of them believed that He was a prophet sent by God Mark 8: 28). The people that He was serving believed that He was a prophet and true to that He performed acts that were a clear pointer that He was not a normal human being just like them.
In the Old Testament, Moses talked about a prophet that was to come to the world later on after hi. It is believed that the prophet that he was referring to was Jesus the Son of Man. He said, “ The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him”(Deut. 18: 15). Later on in the New Testament, Peter refers to this prophet by saying, “ And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3: 23). This is in reference to Jesus because the context where Peter spoke these words referred to none other than Him. It is therefore clear that both the Old and New Testament speak of Him and the roles that He was coming to play being those attributed to the work by a prophet who was only sent by God.
Another role that The Son of Man played was that of a High Priest. In the Old Testament, priests played a very important role as the go between of God and human beings. They are the ones who were in charge of offering sacrifices to God so as to cleanse the sins of the people. In regard to the crucial role that Jesus played, as a sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of man, it is true that his other role that he came to play was that of serving as a sacrifice himself. The priests in the Old Testament were a representation of Him who was the True Priest who was later to come into the world and offer himself. Upon his coming to salvage mankind from sin, He became a priest, who happens to be the mediator between God and his people. This therefore justifies Jesus as a priest.
A priest serves God and human beings because it is through him that communication used to take place between god and Man, at least during the times of the Old Testament. Upon His Baptism, He officially assumed His major work on earth and the baptism served as an initiation of Him from being a mortal man to Priesthood. He was therefore preparing himself for the big task that had brought Him to earth. It is through Him that forgiveness of sins can be achieved just like the priests in the Old Testament did. As a living sacrifice, in as much as many people didn’t realize who He was, He was ready to perform his duty perfectly when the right time came. His role of being a priest can therefore be shown through his desire to do right, just like the scriptures demanded (McLeod 16). He did not afford to go wrong and even when he was at the top of Mount Olives praying, he moved to a more secluded place to pray to His Father, just like priests did in the Old Testament when they were moving into the holy of holies to pray and talk to God.
Another role that The Son of Man played was that of king. This is evidenced through His main reason of coming down from heaven to earth. He came to confront Satan who is the sole reason behind the sins of the world. As a king, He came to defend His territory and reclaim what was supposed to be His. Human beings were created in the image of God and were supposed to worship him, but because of sin, man was thrown out of the Garden of Eden. It is in the garden that the plan of redemption of humans was hatched and all the years that went by with Satan walking the face of the earth and being the major reason for all the evil in it, God had had enough of it and his son Jesus had to come and reclaim what was God’s (Blomberg 29).
Jesus drove out the demons that possessed people and the people accepted him. He came to take his rightful place as the king of not only the universe but also the soul of humans as well as the church. His kingship is also proven when he drove the sinners and gamblers out of the temple. This was because he was asserting his position and wanted man to see him in the light. As a king, he went to heaven, and the bible says that he is seated at the right hand of his father (Pierce 199), this implies that he sits with God and because God is the ruler of the world and so is He.
The Son of Man is both divine and human and it is through this perspective that his three major roles are brought to focus which are prophet, priest and king. The manifestation of these facts can be realized through careful study of the bible. The Son of Man, who is Jesus, had these three major roles to play among others that are seen in the New Testament such as a Rabbi, Son of God, I am, teacher and many more. He has multiple titles which point to his divinity as well as human nature. The fullness of His deity is seen through the three titles that can be accorded him, priest, prophet and king. He may have been a mortal man when he was on earth but he is Jesus Christ the son of God.
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Blomberg, Craig. Jesus and the Gospels: an Introduction and Survey. Nashville: B & HPublishing Group. 2009
Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version. New York: United Bible Societies 2000
McLeod, Fredrick. The Roles of Christ’s Humanity and Salvation: Insights from Theodore ofMopsuestia. Washington: The Catholic University of America. 2005
Pierce, Patrick. The Life of Jesus as Told by the Gospels. Maitland: Xulon Press. 2006 54