Wrapped in flesh that disguised His majesty, He looked like an ordinary son of an ordinary man. And yet He was the Son of God, stepped down from His throne to become the Son of Man
…taking His place in a cattle stall. How could swaddling cloths contain His glory?
…healing the sick and forgiving the sinners. How could they look into His eyes and not be changed?
…teaching even the most-learned men about His Father’s Kingdom. How could they not marvel at the very sound of His voice?
…raised up, not in adoration but on an ugly cross. How could we esteem Him not?
The Son of God became the Son of Man so that we might become children of God.
[Jesus] calls himself Son of Man very often. [Note: more than 80 times; it is His favorite self-designation.]
I think the reason he did so is because, on the face of it, Son of Man is an ordinary phrase for “human being.” He was born of a man. And there’s no offense there: who isn’t a son of man? But those with ears to hear could hear Daniel 7, in which he was claiming a very exalted role in the history of redemption. And he meant to do it.
Jesus was very subtle in that he was always opening his identity to those with eyes to see, but he wasn’t opening it so blatantly that everybody would come and make him king. He had to steer a very narrow course in disclosing his identity, not just openly saying, “I’m the Messiah, I’m the King of the World. Come and acknowledge me as King.” He didn’t talk like that.
He was quiet. He was subtle. And he would make claims that were explicit in certain settings and implicit in others. And only when the time was right—mainly when he was on trial for his life, and they said, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the living God?”—did he say, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man coming with great power and glory.” So he confessed his open deity right at the point where he knew he would be crucified for it.
“Son of Man” has the double meaning of human being and, according to Daniel 7, exalted heavenly one. And Jesus means to communicate both of those.
Daniel saw Him:
“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
(Daniel 7:13-14, ESV)
So did John:
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:12 – 18, ESV)
And, praise God, so shall we:
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30 – 31, ESV)
About the author: Melissa is a blasphemer forgiven and a woman loved. She lives in Virginia with her husband and teenage daughter. She enjoys cooking, reading, and ministering to young ladies. She blogs at Breath of Life.
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
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I just love your four I could(s). My heart is always convicted when I read that Jesus was quiet and subtle. Thank the Lord for sanctification!!! Love your post.
Many blessings to you and yours,
Great post, Melissa!
He came once, but He is coming again!
Thank you for these beautiful words. How I wish He would return soon!
Have a wonderul Christmas!