The names of Jesus in the Book of Revelation – Part 9
“Son of Man” contd.
OT Predictions Daniel
The most important occurrence of the title, “Son of Man” in the OT is in Dan 7:13. The context is the slaying of the terrifying fourth beast of Dan 7, whereupon “one like the Son of Man” appears before the Ancient of Days and receives everlasting dominion and glory. While some have interpreted this divine being as a symbol for faithful Jews or “saints of the Most High,” it is best to see this as a clear reference to Messiah. Jesus often designated Himself as such and the clouds of heaven appear again in association with the second coming of Christ (Rev. 1:7). Here, the Lord Jesus is distinct from God the Father, the Ancient of Days, Who will give to Christ a kingdom that will never be destroyed (Dan. 2:44).
In the Gospels, The phrase is used 32 times by Matthew, 14 times by Mark, 26 times by Luke, and 12 times by John, for a total of 84 occurrences in the Gospels. Adding the occurrences mentioned below in Acts, Hebrews, and Revelation, bring the total to 88 in the NT. Of those occurrences, the phrase is always in the mouth of Jesus except for five times: John 12:34; Acts 7:56; Heb. 2:6; Rev. 1:13; 14:14. In the Gospels, the “Son of Man” sayings fall into three general categories, all of which are found on the lips of Jesus. Eschatological or apocalyptic sayings are those in which Jesus refers to His coming in the future on the clouds of heaven with great power and majesty (Mark 8:38; 13:26; Matt. 24:27; 25:31). This use is most frequent. These references are clearly reminiscent of Dan. 7. The references to the future coming yield the following important insights: (1) The Son of Man will come in glory with angels and bring about end-time judgment (Matt. 16:27; 25:31; 26:64; John 5:27). (2) This glorious coming will be a time of renewal and regeneration. Christ will be enthroned and His apostles will be given special places of honour (Matt. 19:28). (3) This coming will be sudden and unexpected, like a flash of lightning (Matt. 24:27; Luke 12:40; 17:24). (4) When Christ comes in His glory, He will gather to Himself His elect (Luke 21:36; Mark 13:27). (5) This sudden and unexpected coming (Matt. 10:23; 24:44) will usher in the time, when He takes His seat on the promised messianic throne (Matt. 25:31).
Passion or suffering “Son of Man” sayings are those that Jesus spoke with reference to His imminent suffering, death, and resurrection. The passion sayings are the second largest group. Mark records three occasions, when Jesus plainly foretold the rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Son of Man (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34). This anticipation was difficult for the Jews of Jesus’ day because messianic expectation did not connect the Son of Man with suffering and death. Jesus clearly understood these predictions to refer to Himself. Finally, there are sayings connected with the present ministry of Jesus. These references usually illustrate the lowly estate of Jesus, the glorious Lord, Who humbled Himself to become human. Matthew 8:20 shows that He didn’t have a permanent home. His purpose was to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19: 10) and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). He is the one who sows the seed of God’s kingdom (Matt. 13:37) and in so doing was misunderstood and rejected (Luke 7:34). He warned that His disciples might be called on to suffer in the same way for His sake (Luke 6:22).
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