The Son Of Man

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The Jews were looking for their conquering Messiah. Many, including His disciples, believed that Jesus was the One for whom they were looking.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, and others Elijah, but still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God." Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He is the Messiah. (Matthew 16: 13-16 20)

Jesus wanted to hide the fact that He was the Messiah, He preferred to be called the "Son of Man".
The people answered him, we have heard out of the law that Christ abides for ever: and how do you say, the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? (John 12: 34)

Who Is This Son Of Man?
The people did not know what that phrase meant. They were looking for a conquering hero but Jesus was about to undertake the role of the suffering servant. The two concepts seemed to contradict each other and it would take about 2000 years for their heroic figure to appear.
This knowledge would dash their hopes so He spoke the truth and introduced Himself only as the Son of Man because their concept of the Messiah was incomplete, tolerating only a "Son of God". But who is this son of man?
The Son of Man is the suffering Messiah.

What Is Written About The Son Of Man?
And he answered and told them, Elias truly comes first, and restores all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. (Mark 9: 12)
Jesus said that the scriptures prophesied about the Son of Man and One Who would suffer and be rejected. So let us examine the references to the term, "Son of Man".

Jesus' References To The Son Of Man
Almost every statement that Jesus made about the Son of Man was about One who would suffer.
Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. (Luke 18: 31)

The Sign Of The Son Of Man
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24: 30)
At the end of time a sign will appear in the heavens that will be recognized as Messianic. What could it be? Before we speculate on what the sign could be, let us see if there are other statements that might refer to the sign of the son of man.

Although many Christians use the cross as a symbol, it was not used by the early church. When He was born the sign was a star in heaven. In fact, Genesis 1: 14 says that the heavenly bodies are created to maintain times and season and to be used for signs. So the sign in the heavens must involve one of these objects in the sky in a display that causes fear and could be seen as a Christian sign. The question is, although it is terrifying, will this be a sign that evil will be collapsing or will the sign be that God is in control?

The Creation Of The Son Of Man
Let us examine how the important events in the history of planet earth mimic the creation of the earth. Those who were chosen as landmarks and signposts in this timeline all suffered through a significant test that we described in a lesson called "The Paths of Righteousness".
In this lesson we show how the righteous suffer a series of events that are related to the tribes and the sanctuary and the suffering of Christ. All the heroes of faith, sons of man, suffered through some of these tests, but a few followed the entire path. These few inaugurated a new day in the Plan of Salvation which will create a new creature who is resistant to sin.

  1. Light (Adam). This is the perfect creation. When Eve was promised a son who would rescue her, this was also a ray of light. The Promised Son is a fulfillment of this covenant.
  2. Air, Water And Rainbow (Noah). Rainbows are formed in the presence of light, air and water. The earth was destroyed by water and the covenant sign appeared as a rainbow.
  3. Earth And Trees (Abraham). Abraham was the righteous tree that God planted. His seed would populate the earth and bear the fruits of righteousness. The Promised Son was now a seed.
  4. Sun, Moon And Stars (Israel). Light comes to show the way in the darkness. According to Joseph's dream Israel is the sun, his mother is the moon and the stars are the children of Israel. Through this nation God would return light to the world plagued by the darkness of sin through the Promised Son.
  5. Fish And Birds (Joseph And The Coat Of Many Colors). Fish and birds are covered with a coat of many colors. Joseph's coat becomes a sign that the fourth period had begun. Like Noah he was sent ahead to build a system that would rescue Israel from certain death. While they were in Egypt it was as if they were imprisoned in an ark riding on the rough seas.
    » Birds (Moses). At the end of their time in Egypt, God sent Moses to take them to the Promised Land. Like the bird sent out by Noah, Moses was sent out of Egypt to find dry ground and return to the ark to tell them that it was time to exit. When they left Egypt, under a cloud of water and fire, Israel received the covenant on Mount Sinai just as Noah saw the covenant in the rainbow on Ararat.
  6. Animals (Daniel). In Daniel's vision, the nations are represented as a series of wild beasts ruling the earth.
    » Man (The Son Of Man). Daniel's visions culminate in the coming of the Messiah - the Son of Man. Jesus was the first human born of a woman who successfully resisted sin.
    » Woman (The Church Named Israel). Israel is the woman who came out of this new man. She is destined to be the bride of Christ.
    » The Birth Of The Son Of Man. When did Yeshua (Jesus) become the Son of Man?
    He became the Son of man at His conception and birth when He took on the form of humanity and at the crucifixion when He took on the likeness of sinful man.
    Becoming A New Creature. Have this attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
    The Naming Of The Son. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.
    (Philippians 2: 5-9)
    With the naming of the Son, all humanity who became no more than wild beasts will also receive a new nature and a new name.
    » Who Is The Son Of Man? Finally, we see the complete answer to the question when we view His coming in the light of the order of creation. The Son of Man is the child promised to Eve who will have enmity with sin (Genesis 3: 15). He is the perfect seed born of a woman who is the first born of a perfect new creation who can never sin.
  7. Sabbath (Rest From Sin). After the Son of Man came we received rest from sin. We have no more desire or love of sin. Now we are on the final exodus to the Promised Land to live with God forever.

Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2: 15 Time: 40 minutes
Print: 8 pages
Copyright   First Created : 6 December 2008
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (December 2008)