Reflection: The Son of Man
Have you ever stopped to consider what title Jesus used most often of Himself? It was not Savior, or Messiah, or Son of God ‑ but ‑ Son of Man. Isn't that remarkable? Actually, this title occurs about 80 times in the gospels. This phrase or title, Son of Man, has a background in the Old Testament scriptures. It's found in the book of Daniel, chapter 7, verses 13 and 14. This chapter records a tremendous and wonderful vision that Daniel had of something that was going to happen in the future; something that was relating to the setting up of a kingdom that would never pass away, a kingdom that was to be ruled by a ruler specially chosen of God. That ruler, in the minds of the Jewish people, became identified with Messiah. But the title that applies most accurately to what we're saying now is not Messiah, which means the ‘anointed one’, but this title – ‘Son of Man’. We'll read those 2 verses from Daniel 7, verses 13 and 14. Daniel says:
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (NIV)
The Old Testament as we know it was presented to us in two languages, mainly in Hebrew, but some passages in Aramaic, which was another Semitic dialect. Now, this particular passage of Daniel was presented to us in Aramaic, not in Hebrew. In Hebrew the word for Son of Man is Benadon, that means a son of Adam. It places that person right in descent from Adam, the forefather of the human race. But in Aramaic, the phrase for Son of Man is Baranush, where Anush is again, man; ‘bar’ is ‘son’ in Aramaic. But Anush means man, essentially in his weakness, in his frailty. It always has that connotation as man as some kind of a mortal being that's subject to weakness and frailty. This is the very title that Jesus applied to Himself in his discourse as recorded in the gospel. Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus identifies also with our weakness?
Thank You, Jesus, that you became human, in every sense and every way, to identify Yourself with me, even in my weakness and frailty. Thank You Lord, that You’re not far away, looking down upon me from Your perfect holiness, but that You came close to me, alongside me. What grace! Thank You, Jesus!