December 2018 Letter
With the beginning of Nativity fast, we learn from an article by the late H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy titled “Son of man”:
“Christ often used the title “Son of man” in speaking of Himself, to confirm His incarnation and humanity. For as He is the Son of God born from The Father before all ages, He Himself is also the Son of man born from St. Mary in the fullness of time, when He took from her a full body by the action of the Holy Spirit.
“For the Son of God the Logos has two births: the first from God the Father according to the Divinity, and the second from the virgin St. Mary according to His humanity, but He being the same person.
“That’s why St. Paul said: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13: 8), meaning that He Himself was born of the Father and came to the world to redeem it, and will come to judge the living and the dead and reign forever.
“Note how Christ sometimes used the term “Son of man” in speaking of His Divine nature, and the term “Son of God” in speaking of His human nature, in order to confirm that He Himself is the same one Son of God and Son of Man at the same time, when He was incarnate and became man for our salvation.
“For example He said about Himself: “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Luk 6: 5). He also said: “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Mat 16: 27). And also: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory” (Mat 25: 31).
“On the other hand He said: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jhn 3: 16). In this case He used the term “only begotten Son” in speaking about something related to His crucifixion according to the flesh which is His humanity.
“How beautiful is the verse: “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Mat 18: 11), for the one who came to seek and save which was lost is the only begotten Son of God, but He loved to use the term “Son of man” to so that we understand that He Himself is the Incarnate God, as St. Paul said: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim 3: 16).
“The title “Son of man” that was said about Christ does not undermine Him, on the contrary it confirms His incarnation and humanity, and also makes us realize the meaning of His appearance in the flesh, and that it’s a true one and not like the ones in the old testament in which He took the appearance of man, but rather a natural birth in a true incarnation of our same human nature but without sin. It was said of Jacob: “a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day” (Gen 32: 24), which was just an appearance of Christ in the Old Testament but not an incarnation.
May the blessings of St. Mary, St. Mercurius and the Nativity fast be with us, Amen.
Belleville, December 1, 2018