Do you know what Jesus called Himself most often in the bible?
SON OF MAN
I have always found this to be most interesting, and for a long time. very puzzling! Why Son Of Man?
What an odd thing to call oneself!
When I dug in the bible for the meaning, I found it even more interesting and very very telling...
Jesus called Himself other thing too... bread of life... the good shepherd... the way the truth and the life...
Teacher...the light of the world. All beautiful imagery of the Messiah... the King and savior the Jews of Jesus' day were waiting for.
Compared to these monikers Son Of Man sounds, well... a little boring and plain.
But there I go again thinking like a modern, western, Greek thinker and not an ancient, Oriental, orthodox thinker... In other words I am not thinking like the people in the times the bible was written.
To truly understand the imagery of Son Of Man we need to visit the book of Daniel.
I LOVE to open this amazing book!!!! Why go to Daniel? He lived over 500 years before Jesus? Because Daniel has the key to the meaning of Son Of Man...
Daniel was a Jew and a prophet... and you might know him from his incarceration in a lion's den. He was uprooted from his home in Israel, like most of the Jews of his day, and taken into captivity by the Babylonians... around 586 BC. It was in this time of captivity that God gave Daniel dreams and visions... and major prophesy about the the future history of the Jews and the "end times". Daniel's prophesy is trustworthy... so far all of it has come true... ALL!
Daniel has a prophetic dream...
I kept looking (he is watching these things unfold in his prophesy)
Until thrones were set up,
And the ANCIENT OF DAYS took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow,
And the hair of his head was like pure wool,
His throne was a blaze with flames,
It's wheels were burning fire,
A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him,
The court sat, And the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10
Daniel is transported into the throne room of God. There he gets a glimpse of what God looks like and translates that the best he knows how using the concrete imagery of his day.
God sits on His throne, The Ancient Of Days... he is sitting as God and Judge. A huge multitude, more than could be counted were with God...
I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like the SON OF MAN was coming,
And He came up to the ANCIENT OF DAYS,
and was presented before Him.
And to Him (one like the Son Of Man) was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will never be destroyed. Daniel 7: 13-14
In this night vision... this prophesy... Daniel now sees someone who looks like a man coming up to God... who is on His throne in heaven. Daniel sees that God gives this "man" dominion (sovereignty, power to reign, authority, an empire) glory (great honor, tells of his worth) and a kingdom (realm, reign, authority over).
God also gives this ONE LIKE THE SON OF MAN people for his kingdom... all people (us) of every language that they might serve Him! Every kingdom needs subjects.
This kingdom is no ordinary kingdom... it is everlasting (for ever and ever, all ages, never ending) and will never be destroyed.
Daniel's night vision was a prophesy of the MESSIAH... the much awaited King of the Jews!
Now lets go back to the days of Jesus...
When Jesus would call Himself Son Of Man the Jews of His day knew exactly what He was saying! Their minds would go directly to the night vision in Daniel 7 and know that Jesus was calling himself the much awaited Messiah... the King who's kingdom was without end...the fulfillment of their hope!
Son Of Man might be an odd name to us, but to the people of Jesus' day it could not be any plainer. Jesus was and IS the one presented to the ANCIENT OF DAYS and found worthy to be the great almighty King of planet earth. One who is worthy of honor and glory. One who will reign forever and ever. He WAS and IS the hope of the Jew... and all people!
Now, when I read or hear Jesus referring to Himself as Son Of Man... in my mind I run to Daniel Chapter 7 just like the Jews, and I too know that He is saying... I AM the One you have been waiting for!
And I bow to my King!