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Son of this, son of that.

In consecutive sections of Luke, one about a blind man on the road to Jericho, the next about a man named Zacchaeus, there are several themes. None stands out to me more than the repeated use of the word “Son”. The blind man cries out twice to Jesus using the name “Son of David”. The title implies Jesus is King. If the Romans knew the meaning, the blind man or Jesus would be executed for treason. (In fact, this will be the Roman judgment that condemns Jesus to death.) Soon after, Jesus states that Zacchaeus is a “Son of Abraham”. That title refers to more than Zacchaeus’ culture as a Jew but also to his obedience to the law. Finally, Jesus refers to himself as the “Son of Man”.

I dwelt a while on this section wondering at the significance of these terms. Often, in Luke, references to Jesus as “Son of David” indicate that Jesus is a King, greater than David. In the following part with the titles “Son of Abraham” and “Son of Man”, I wondered if they could be explaining something similar. When Jesus refers to himself as the “Son of Man”, he does so by stating:

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

God’s promise to Abraham was that he would establish a nation of people as numerous as the stars. In this way, Abraham is seen as the great patriarch of the Jewish faith. Here though, inductively, Jesus refers to himself as a greater patriarch over not only the Jewish people but over all who are lost.

(This scripture comes from Luke 18:35-19:10.)