Q. Please explain the term “Son of Man.”
More often than by any other title Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of Man.” Jesus uses this title 80 times in the New Testament. Thirty-three times in Matthew alone. Often this expression means “THE REPRESENTATIVE MAN.” When he came to earth he took upon himself the nature of man. (Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:12-14) He was born of woman (Gal. 4:4). He was human as well as divine –the God-man. As a man he suffered as we suffer, and was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 2:18; 4:15) He is acquainted with our trials, he knows our sufferings. He understands our littleness, our selfishness, and our self-centeredness that often times crowd out sympathy for others and makes us cynical. He went with Mary and Martha to the tomb of their brother Lazarus (John 11), and in the hour of agony on the cross did not forget the welfare of his Mother (John 19:26,27). The world in its sin and sorrow needed such compassion, and sympathy, and encouragement as only the Son of Man could give. He was a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief, who knew our frailties.
This is certainly one reason why Jesus called himself the “Son Of Man.”(The Representative Man) But I believe there is another.
Read the following verses of Scripture:
4* What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
6* But one has testified somewhere, saying, “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?
13* “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.
The Old Testament Scriptures reveal “The Son Of Man,” as the Messiah. This has been called the “Hidden Messianic Title.” Early in His Ministry Jesus did not want his disciples to relate to others the truth of his Messiahship, because the time was not right. You know how the Pharisees reacted when he claimed to be the Messiah. They wanted to kill him. So for much the same reason that Jesus taught in Parables, the title “Son of Man” is used.
In other words, those who knew God’s Word, (i.e.Psalm 8; Daniel 7) and whose hearts were open to him would immediately identify this title with the Messiah. But those who were smug in their self-righteousness would not be aware of the significance of the title, and would fail to recognize him.
One Hundred and Two – TITLES AND NAMES OF CHRIST
Adam (1Cor. 15:45); Advocate (1Jn. 2:1); Almighty (Rev. 1:8); Alpha and Omega (Rev.1:8); Amen (Rev. 3:14); Apostle of our Profession (Heb.3:1); Arm of the Lord (Isa.53:1);Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2); Author of Eternal Salvation (Heb. 5:9); Beloved Son (Mt. 12:18); Blessed and only Sovereign (1Tim. 6:15); Branch (Isa. 4:2); Bread of Life (Jn. 6:32); Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10); Chief Shepherd (1Pet. 5:4); Christ of God (Lk. 9:20); Consolation of Israel (Lk.2:25); Corner-stone (Ps. 118:22); Counselor (Isa. 9:6); Creator (Jn. 1:3); Deliverer (Rom. 11:26); Desire of all Nations (Haggai 2:7); Door (Jn. 10:7); Elect of God (Isa. 42:1);Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6); Faithful Witness (Rev.1:5); First and Last (Rev.1:17); First Begotten (Rev.1:5;); Forerunner (Heb. 6:20); Glory of the Lord (Isa.40:5); God (Isa.40:3; Jn. 20:28);God Blessed (Rom. 9:5); Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11); Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14) ;Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22); Heir of all Things (Heb. 1:2); Holy Child (Acts 4:27); Holy One (Acts 3:14); Holy one of God (Mk.1:24); Holy one of Israel (Isa. 41:14); Horn of Salvation (Lk. 1:69); I Am (Jn. 8:58); Image of God (2Cor.4:4); Immanuel (Isa. 7:14); Jehovah (Isa. 26:4); Jesus (Mt. 1:21); Jesus of Nazareth (Mt. 21:11); Judge of Israel (Mic.5:1); Just One(Acts 7:52); King (Zec. 9:9); King of the Ages (1Tim. 1:17); King of the Jews (Mt.2:2); King of Kings (1Tim.6:15); King of Saints (Rev.15:3); Lawgiver (Isa. 33:22); Lamb (Rev. 13:8); Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29); Leader (Isa. 55:4); Life (Jn. 14:6); Light of the World (Jn.8:12); Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5); Lord of All (Acts 10:36); Lord of Glory (1Cor. 2:8); Lord of Lords (1Tim.6:15); Lord our Righteousness (Jer.23:6); Man of Sorrows(Isa.53:3); Mediator (1Tim. 2:5); Messenger of the Covenant (Mal. 3:1); Messiah (Dan.9:25; Jn.1:41); Mighty God (Isa. 9:6); Mighty One (Isa. 60:16); Morning Star (Rev.22:16); Nazarene (Mt. 2:23); Only Begotten Son (Jn. 1:18); Our Passover (1Cor. 5:7); Prince of Kings (Rev. 1:5); Prince of Life (Acts 3:15); Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6); Prophet (Lk. 24:19); Redeemer (Job 19:25); Resurrection and Life (Jn. 11:25); Rock (1Cor. 10:4); Root of David (Rev. 22:16); Rose of Sharon (Song of Sol. 2:1); Ruler (Mt. 2:6); Savior (Lk. 2:11); Seed of Woman (Gen. 3:15); Shepherd and Guardian of Souls (1Pet. 2:25); Shiloh (Gen. 49:10); Son of the Blessed; (Mk. 14:61); Son of David (Mt. 1:1); Son of God (Mt. 2:15); Son of the Highest (Lk.1:32); Son of Man (Mt. 8:20); Son of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2); Sunrise (Lk. 1:78); True Light (Jn. 1:9); True Vine (Jn. 15:1); Truth (Jn. 1:14); Witness (Isa. 55:4); Word (Jn. 1:1); Word of God (Rev.19:13).