Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why is Jesus Called the Son of Man?

Soooooo I was bored, so I decided to look up every single time the phrase “Son of Man” is used in the Bible, and exactly what it means. When I was younger, I sort of half assumed he was referring to his humanity, his humility, or something like that. It confused me and I didn’t pay much attention to the phrase. Then I read a side note in one of my bibles that “The Son of Man”, is actually referring to the Angel/God/Messiah like reference in Daniel 7:13-14. I wasn’t going to blindly except this, of course (heh heh), so I looked up the verse, and it certainly LOOKS like that might be what he was referring too, but I couldn’t be sure… so I looked up every time Jesus refers to himself as “Son of Man” and what it’s connected too…
       Most of the references to him being the Son of Man are either connected to his death/resurrection, the second coming, or some aspect of his divinity. Some other important passages are in Revelation, which describe Jesus in nearly identical terms to Dan. 7:13-14. Also interesting are a couple of places in Psalms where there is a mention of a “son of man”, that while could be about a regular human, hint of the Messiah.
        Please note that there is one other person, the prophet Ezekiel, who is referred to as “Son of Man” (by God, who is addressing him) about 93 times. (Jesus refers to himself as “Son of Man” 81 times… including overlap from the gospels, which there is a lot of, btw). I don’t have any idea what that’s supposed to mean. I haven’t read Ezekiel in a long time. There is a footnote in Ezekiel 2 on that “Ezekiel 2:1 - The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here and throughout Ezekiel because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.”
Feel free to give imput on this point, I think it's probably unrelated... also read the Wiki page on it, apparently "Ben Adam" was a pretty generic term for "human being", or "humanity", in ancient Israel.
        So Ezekiel is referred to in Hebrew as “Ben Adam”, Daniel 7 is the Aramaic (Wiki says “kibar 'anash”) “Ben Enash”, Daniel 8 (where Daniel himself is referred to as “son of man”) is Hebrew “Ben Adam”, the Psalm verses are both “Ben Adam. And of course all NT verses are the Greek, “Huios Anthropos”. Wiki is also has a page on the phrase, “Son of Man”. I might be missing some because of the translation (NIV), NKJV links).

Also I wrote this post just to play with Blueletterbible's cool linky thingy. :)

Main Prophecy
Daniel 7:13-14

Jesus revealed as Son of Man
Revelation 1:12-16
Revelation 14:14-16

Hebrews 2:5-9 / Psalm 8:4-6
Psalms 80:15-19

Jesus Foretells His Death (and Resurrection)
(The three times that the NIV gives as headers ;)
1. Mark 8:31, Luke 9:22
2. Matt 17:22-23, Mark 9:31-32, Luke 9:44
3. Matt 20:18-19, Mark 10:33-34, Luke 18:31-33
After the transfiguration: Matt 17:9,12, Mark 9:9,12
Aaand a bunch of random times, Matt 26:2, Mark 12:40 John 12:23-26
John 3:12-15 (Please note this passage also mentions that he is from Heaven.)

Jesus Foretells his Return
Main passages (compare to Daniel): Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21
Secondary prophecies of return:
1. No one knows when he will return: Luke 12:40
2. Will Judge: Matt 25:31-46, John 5:24-30
3. It will be obvious when he returns: Luke 17:20 –37
4. If Anyone is Ashamed of the Son of Man, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him -Matt 16: 26-28, Mark 8:36-38, Luke 9:25-26,
5. Blessings/Rewards to the Faithful: Matt 10:22-23, Matt 19:28- 30, Luke 6:22-23, Luke 12:8-10
6. (Random): John 1:50-51, Luke 18:7-8 (will he find faith?)

Other Passages refer to The Son of Man as:
Bread of Life: John 6:26-27, 53, 61-63
Lord of the Sabbath: Matt 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5
Has Authority to Forgive Sins: Matt 9:6, Mark 2:10, Luke 5:24
The Father is with Him: John 8:27-30
Sows the Good Seed: Matt 13:37,41
Came to Serve and be a Ransom: Matt 20:28, Mark 10:45
Will be A Sign like Jonah: Luke 11:29-30
Came to Seek and Save the Lost: Luke 19:9-10
Has no Place to Lay His Head (context): Matt 8:20, Luke 9:58
Has come to Judge: *John 9:35-39
Misc.: Matt 12:32, Matt 11:18-19, Luke 7:33-35,

Who is the Son of Man?
Matt 16:13-17 – Peter Confesses Jesus (the Son of Man) as Messiah
John 12:34-36- People ask who Son of Man is – I’m not sure whether Jesus is saying the Son of Man is the Light, or if he’s just doing a rapid (and in my opinion not very smooth) change of topic here. ;) Read whole chapter for a clearer context.

Jesus, the Son of Man, is Betrayed:
(At the last Supper): Matt 26:23-24, Mark 14:20-21, Luke 21:20-22, John 13:31
(In the Garden): Matt 26: 45-46, Mark 14:41

Jesus Calls Himself the Son of Man: – in a way that makes it obvious that he’s calling himself the Son of God.
Matt 26: 63-66, Mark 14:61-64, Luke 22:66-71

After The Resurrection:
Luke 24:5-7 – Angels remind the women what Jesus said about his resurrection.
Acts 7:54-56 – Stephen sees Jesus.

* NIV has “Son of Man” (ben adam), NKJV has “Son of God”.

PS: If any of the links are wrong, please tell me. Thanks. It's very late at night so I'm not about to check.