The Son of Man

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Greek Matthew 10In my reading of Matthew this morning I came across, once again, the title “Son of Man” that is used in reference to Jesus.  In Matthew 10:23 Jesus uses it as He delivers a speech to the disciples whom He is sending out.  A few minutes of reflection on what exactly this title is meant to convey seemed a good way to start the morning.

Within the Gospels this title is used 81 times.  Worth noting is that the use of the definite article seems to be unique to the Biblical record.  Studying all 81 occurrences, and the use of the definite article, would surely yield greater insight into the meaning of the phrase. Nevertheless, it would seem that the title has a two-fold function.  (1) It signifies the humanity of Jesus.  This seems to be a common understanding of the phrase ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.  (2) For the reader or listener that would be familiar with their Old Testament, this phrase would point to a heavenly being that would rule over the kingdoms of the world.  We find this title applied to such a ruler in Daniel 7.  So, Jesus is not only divine, He is human.  Furthermore, Jesus is the one spoken of in Daniel 7 specifically (and elsewhere as the title shows up numerous other places in the OT).

Although the exact implications of Jesus using this title seem to be debated, the short summary of how to understand this title that John Piper provides seems a helpful place to begin.  Read Dr. Piper’s thoughts on this title for Jesus HERE.


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