We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Son of Man’.
Jesus often refers to himself as ‘The Son of Man’. For example, in John’s gospel, Jesus refers to himself in this way when he speaks to the blind man whom he had healed: ‘Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him’ (John 9:35-38)
So what does Jesus want to tell us by calling himself ‘The Son of Man’.
By calling himself ‘The Son of Man’, Jesus is pointing to his fulfilment of the prophecy of Daniel about a specific Son of Man who would be given all authority: ‘As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed’ (Daniel 7:9-14).
But that’s not all. The title also refers to Christ’s humanity. The prophet Ezekiel is regularly called ‘Son of Man’ as a reference to the fact that he is human. By claiming the title, ‘The Son of Man’, Jesus is showing his full humanity too.
And, not only that, but Jesus is referring to the fact that he is the perfect representative of humanity to God. Psalm 8 speaks of the way God relates to ‘The Son of Man’ and the author of Hebrews shows that this Psalm is fulfilled perfectly in the Son of God: ‘But there is a place where someone has testified: “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 angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone’ (Hebrews 2:6-9).
So Jesus is truly ‘The Son of Man’.
The blind man worshipped ‘The Son of Man’. Will you? Joel Radford