Why the Son of Man?

Why the Son of Man?

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This phrase “son of man” is used more than 90 times in the book of the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel. It was God’s way of addressing Ezekiel. It is also used in the Bible to refer to any ordinary man, not always to a prophet or one occupying a special position.

Still, since “the Son of Man” is used in reference to our Savior so many times, we should consider the spiritual implications of this phrase.

In what connection did Christ often use the phrase “the Son of Man”?

“The Son of man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men” (Matthew 17:22 Matthew 17:22And while they stayed in Galilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
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; compare Matthew 26:45 Matthew 26:45Then comes he to his disciples, and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
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; Mark 9:31 Mark 9:31For he taught his disciples, and said to them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
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; Mark 14:41 Mark 14:41And he comes the third time, and said to them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
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).

Jesus Christ repeatedly referred to Himself as “the Son of Man” in connection with His sufferings and sacrificial death.

In what other important respect did Jesus use this term?

“So Jesus said to them [the disciples], ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’ ” (Matthew 19:28 Matthew 19:28And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
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).

Christ also used the term “Son of Man” when referring to His role as the coming ruler of humanity in the Kingdom of God.

Is this phrase connected to a special day?

“And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath’ ” (Mark 2:27-28 Mark 2:27-28 27 And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
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; compare Matthew 12:8 Matthew 12:8For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
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; Luke 6:5 Luke 6:5And he said to them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
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).

Christ is Creator (John 1:1-3 John 1:1-3 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
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; Colossians 1:16-17 Colossians 1:16-17 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
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; Hebrews 1:2 Hebrews 1:2Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
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), and the Sabbath was instituted just after man was made (Genesis 2:3 Genesis 2:3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
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). So the Son of Man had the authority to give us spiritual instruction on how to properly observe the seventh day with mercy and compassion. (If you would like more information about this special day of God, please request our free booklet Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest .) The command to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy is the Fourth of the Ten Commandments.

What question did the Son of Man ask the disciples?

“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’” (Matthew 16:13 Matthew 16:13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
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).

They replied by recounting several commonly held—but erroneous—beliefs about Christ’s identity.

But what was Simon Peter’s unusual insight?

“And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ [the Messiah], the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’ ” (Matthew 16:16-17 Matthew 16:16-17 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.
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).

Through the Father’s inspiration, Peter responded by saying that Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, is also the Son of the living God. Though on occasion His apostles referred to Christ as the Son of God (Matthew 14:33 Matthew 14:33Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth you are the Son of God.
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; John 20:31 John 20:31But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.
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; etc.), He rarely used that term to describe Himself. Evidently He chose to deliberately emphasize that He identifies with our plight—the sorrows and sufferings of mankind. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah calls Him “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3 Isaiah 53:3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
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).