Yeshua, the Son of Man ~ Part 2

Messianic Jews 2:5-9
Letter to the Messianic Jews

In my last post, we began to learn about Yeshua, the Son of Man ~ Part 1 in Messianic Jews 2:1-4. That passage concerned a warning against rejecting God’s revealed Word.   In this post, we continue to explore Messianic Jews 2:5-9 ~ Yeshua, the Son of Man ~ Part 2. This passage concerns the recovery of humanity’s lost destiny.

5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the ‘olam haba — which is what we are talking about. 6 And there is a place where someone has given this solemn testimony: “What is mere man, that you concern yourself with him? or the son of man, that you watch over him with such care? 7 You made him a little lower than the angels, you crowned him with glory and honor, 8 you put everything in subjection under his feet.” In subjecting everything to him, he left nothing unsubjected to him. However, at present, we don’t see everything subjected to him — at least, not yet. 9 But we do see Yeshua — who indeed was made for a little while lower than the angels — now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by God’s grace He might taste death for all humanity.” ~ Hebrews 2:5-9 (CJB)

For it was not to angels connects the thought with “Aren’t they all merely spirits who serve, sent out to help those whom God will deliver?” ~ Hebrews 1:14 (CJB).

This is by no means an easy passage to understand; but when we do, it is eye-opening. Verses 6b-8 are a quotation from Psalm 8:5-7 (4-6). If we are ever to understand this passage correctly, we must understand one thing – the whole reference in Psalm 8 is to humanity. It sings of the glory that God gave to humanity. There is no reference to the Messiah in Psalm 8.

The phrase son of man in Psalm 8 makes it difficult for us to grasp that. We are so used to hearing that phrase applied to Yeshua that we tend always to take it to refer to Him. After all, it was His favorite phrase when referring to Himself. But in Hebrew son of man always merely means a man. We find, for instance, that in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, more than eighty times God addresses Ezekiel as the son of man. “Son of man, [1] set your face toward Jerusalem” ~ Ezekiel 21:2. Son of man, prophesy and say” ~ Ezekiel 30:2.

The two parallel phrases: What is mere man, that you concern yourself with him? or the son of man, that you watch over him with such care? are different ways of saying the same thing. It is, in fact, an expansion of the great promise of God at creation, when He said: Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:28 (CJB)

We were meant to have dominion over everything, but we don’t. We are frustrated by our circumstances, defeated by our temptations, discouraged by our weakness. As G. K. Chesterton said, “whatever else is or is not true, this one thing is certain – man is not what he was meant to be.” [2]

But we do see Yeshua — who indeed was made for a little while lower than the angels — now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by God’s grace He might taste death for all humanity.  Yeshua suffered, and He died, and because He suffered and died, He entered into glory. And that suffering, death, and glory are all for humanity because He died to make us what we ought to be. He died to rid us of our frustration, bondage, and weakness and to give us the dominion we ought to have. Yeshua died to recreate humanity until we became what we were initially created to be.

While we have not seen fulfilled David wrote in Psalm 8, we do see Yeshua. God commissioned human beings to rule over creation. Sin halted that plan but did not change it. The writer used the name Yeshua (instead of his title, Messiah) for the first time in this verse, stressing Yeshua’s humanity. The words from the psalm previously applied only to humans are here applied to the Messiah. Yeshua became human, made for a little while lower than the angels.

He was the only one who lived the human life as intended: sinless and in perfect fellowship with God. Before Yeshua, the words of Psalm 8 had not been fully realized, but the words were fulfilled entirely in Him. Yeshua was not made lower than the angels in His rank or position, but He was described this way because He became part of the physical world; that is, He became human.

Because of Yeshua’s perfect life and sacrifice for sins, He is now crowned with glory and honor.  Yeshua came to restore humanity to what God originally intended us to be.

In my next post, we’ll explore Yeshua as True Man in Messianic Jews 2:10-13 ~ Yeshua, the Son of Man ~ Part 3.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] Stern’s translates the phrase as human being.

[2] Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT) by William Barclay.

 

12 thoughts on “Yeshua, the Son of Man ~ Part 2

  1. Hello Don, In regards to Psalms 8 and Hebrews 2, the passage in Psalms is talking about men in general that God made the earth in everything in it for us, like you said. The author of Hebrews parallels this with Jesus in the sense of His humanity because Jesus did become a man so that He might taste death for us. When Jesus put on the clothes of flesh, He became a little lower than the angels. The author is trying to connect Jesus’ humanity with that in Psalms 8 to show that through His humanity, He brought to God sons and daughters by His suffering on the cross. You are right in saying that Psalms is about humanity. I would be the connection reading both passages.

    Liked by 1 person

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