The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant. "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. (Matt. 21:15-16)Some have interpreted that Jesus quoted this phrase from one of David's Psalms because Jesus was trying to indicate that David's Psalm was prophesying about Jesus.
This is simply a stretch of the imagination by those who seek to support their ecclesiastical motives to exclude others from being able to approach God. What Jesus was illustrating, is that while the crowds were praising Jesus as the son [Greek word υἱός, better translated, as in the Greek lexicon, as "one who depends on another or is his follower" - in other words, a follower, devotee or loving servant] of David. In other words, they were proclaiming Jesus to be teacher within David’s teaching lineage - and the focus of David’s teachings was the praise of God, as he illustrated throughout the Psalms.
Let’s read the full context of the Psalm of David that Jesus is referring to in his statement above:
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour. You made him ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! (Psalms 8)The key phrase they use to interpret that David is discussing Jesus is:
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?(God referred to Ezekiel as the servant of humanity ("son of man") continuously, as evidenced by over 80 verses in Ezekiel).
He was referring to himself. David referred to himself as the "son of man." In fact, many other statements in the Bible refer to different people outside of Jesus as "son of man." Consider these verses:
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
"how much less man, who is but a maggot — a son of man, who is only a worm!" (Job 25:6)
He [God] said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you." (Ezekiel 2:1)
He [God] said: "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. (Exe. 2:3)
As He came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," He said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end." (Daniel 8:17)So here we can see that Daniel was also referred to as a "son of man" (servant of humanity), as was Ezekiel, Job and David - and of course, Jesus.
What is meant by "son of man" then? In Hebrew, "son of man" is being translated from the phrase, בֶּן־אָדָם - which breaks down into בֵּן (ben) and אָדָם ('adam). The word בֵּן (ben) can mean "son" but also "a member of a guild, order, class" according to the lexicon. And אָדָם ('adam) refers to "man" or "mankind" or humanity."
When translated from the Greek - as spoken by Jesus regarding himself - the phrase is υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. The word υἱὸς means "son" or "devoted follower" or "loving servant" while τοῦ means "of" and ἀνθρώπου means "man" or "mankind" or "humanity."
Thus we find the translation to "son of man" actually has no real meaning - as every male is a son of a man and thus has no reference to prophets such as David, Job, Daniel and Ezekiel, nor to Jesus - we find the more appropriate translation of both the Hebrew and the Greek phrases to be:
"servant of humanity"As truly these prophets as well as Jesus were in a position where they were serving all of humanity by giving others knowledge of the Supreme Being.
And this is the ultimate service to humanity because we are lost without the Supreme Being. Our life has no meaning without our relationship with God.
In other words, Jesus was not the only servant of humanity ("son of man"). A servant of humanity is someone who is sent by God (as in Ezekiel) to save people by bringing them home to God.
The phrase also indicates humility - just as the phrase "civil servant" indicates a government employee who considers himself a servant of the people.
Jesus illustrated his position as a servant to others in his washing the feet of his disciples. He also said specifically:
“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)Certainly Jesus included himself in this instruction, as he considered himself to be υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου - servant of humanity.
The bottom line is that the meaning of David's 8th Psalm was not to predict Jesus' coming as misinterpreted by ecclesiastical sectarian teachers. It was clearly intended to praise God and give thanks to the Supreme Being.
With ‘From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise" David is saying (and Jesus is referring to this) that God deserves praise from even the children - let alone everyone else.
David is saying that he is in awe of God David is amazed that God would care about even the most humble of men such as himself, relatively insignificant compared to the gigantic universe. David then goes on to discuss man’s position on the earth - that man rules over the flocks and herds and so many other animals. This is confirmed in Genesis:
“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)Remember that according to these ecclesiastical translations and interpretations, Jesus is being referred to as the “son of David” and the “son of God,” as well as the “son of man.” How is Jesus the “son” of all these? He's the son of God and the son of David and the son of man all at the same time?
Factually, he was the son of none of them. Even with regard to David, Jesus' genealogy only established a supposed family tie (although given differently in Matthew and Luke) with Joseph, who was according to the texts, Jesus' adoptive father and not physical father. So if we are to accept that Mary was a virgin or at least Jesus was not Joseph's son, then Jesus could neither be David's physical son - or even great, great.... grandson according to the texts.
The answer again goes to the use of the word “son.” The ecclesiastical scribes who were assigned the task of translating the various books and assembling them into what today makes up the Bible were assembled through a political process coordinated by the Emperor Constantine, who oversaw the assembly and translations certain scriptures while banning others. This political process created one book called the Bible out of hundreds of different scriptures that were being read by different groups. Constantine's maneuver of selecting certain texts, translated by his selected scribes, into one book (the Bible) would bring together the Christian peoples under one umbrella - and conveniently under Constantine's rule. Yes, it was a pure political maneuver to increase his control over Europe.
Constantine determined that if the books of the Bible and the teachings of Christianity could be controlled, then the churches could be controlled. This was part of his grand scheme to organize the Byzantine empire.
Through this process, Jesus became defined as the exclusive "son" of God - despite the fact that Adam is referred to as the "son of God" in Luke 3:38, and there are multiple references to "sons of God" among the English Bible translations:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:2)So we find multiple verses indicating a contradiction to the notion that Jesus is the exclusive "son of God." The fact that there could be many "sons of God" clearly indicates it was not an exclusive post of Jesus.
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4)
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 6:9)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
The reality is that the word translated to "son" from both the Greek and the Hebrew - as mentioned above - indicates a devoted follower or loving servant in this context. And this is precisely what the texts above are describing - those who become devoted to the Supreme Being.
Same with "son of David." A person who is devoted to the teachings of David should certainly be referred to as a devoted follower of David as the original texts indicate. And certainly we find that Jesus was devoted to the teachings of David, because he quoted David's psalms directly.
This is the nature of those who are devoted to the Supreme Being. A person who is devoted to God is also devoted to those who devote themselves to the Supreme Being. It is the nature of the spiritual realm - where the Supreme Being is the center, and those who are devoted to Him see themselves humbly.
The original teachings of Jesus, and the gospels of all of the prophets, define the exalted position of being the loving servant of God, and the servant of humanity as the goal of life. In this perspective, the student also became a servant (or "follower") of his spiritual teacher. This was Jesus' position, as he was in David's line of teachers. In other words, Jesus taught love of God and praising God, just as David did. Therefore, Jesus was also a servant (or "follower") of David.
God wants us to return to Him. He knows that we will be happy only when we are back in His loving arms. So He calls to us from within our hearts. He sends His loving servants to try to convince us to come home. He calls us from within the scriptures. All of these activities are because loving God is not an empty phrase. Loving God means returning to our loving relationship with our Best Friend and Soul Mate - the Supreme Being. This is the consistent teaching of all the prophets as evidenced by Jesus' and Moses' very clear instruction:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38 and Deut 6:5)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)