Summary: Message regarding Jesus’ use of this title for Himself, from Daniel 7:13-14
The “Son of Man”
June 18, 2006
Well, after our break to look at The
Da Vinci Code, we’re turning our attention back to the gospel of Matthew.
But if you look at your note-taking guide, you’ll see that we won’t be referencing Matthew much for this message.
So what’s the scoop? The scoop is that I want us to look at a phrase Jesus uses to describe Himself throughout the gospels, and particularly in Matthew.
The title, “Son of Man” occurs 81 times in the Gospels. In Matthew, 30 times. And in every case except one, it is Jesus using the phrase.
But isn’t Jesus the son of God? Then why would he call Himself the Son of Man? Well, this title is a reference to a passage in Daniel 7, which I’ve printed for you in your note-taking guide.
I’d like it if you would read this aloud with me, please!
"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. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
I think it’s important to know that while Jesus used the title, most of his listeners probably didn’t catch the implication.
In some places in Scripture, the phrase is used “to contrast the chasm between frail, mortal man and God Himself.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary – “Matthew,” p. 212)
But especially toward the end of His ministry, His references to this title pointed all the more toward what we find in Daniel.
So I want us to take a look at what these two verses tell us about the “Son of Man,” and therefore, about the Savior.
But first, let’s pray.
Despite the fact that on the surface, “Son of Man” might appear to be a reference to Jesus’ humanity, I think that as we look at this passage from Daniel, you’ll see that it was a reference to the fact that He was divine, as we looked at a few weeks ago.
And so I want us to look at three facts about the Son of God that are noted in this passage in Daniel but also displayed in the gospels.
1. He is in the Presence of God.
He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
Now this is very important.
We talk about being in the presence of God. He is everywhere all the time, and so no matter where we are, we are in His presence.
But while we are present to Him, that doesn’t mean He is present to us. In other words, He sees us, but we don’t see Him, at least not in all His glory.
In the book of Exodus, we find Moses talking with God, and asking Him for help in leading the people to the promised land.
God says that His presence would go with them, but Moses says that he would like to see God’s glory.
God agrees, but only to a certain extent.
He says this, in Exodus 33:19-20 –
"I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
We cannot see Him in all His glory and live. Isaiah and Ezekiel’s visions of God were such that that their mortal eyes could comprehend what they were seeing, but the human eye and mind cannot comprehend the presence of God in all His glory. Even Daniel here can only see part of the deal.
But the Son of Man sees God in all His glory and is led into His presence.
Jesus mentions this presence in John 8:38 –
“I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father."
I need to make a quick detour here.
You know, it’s Father’s Day. And I want to very quickly give a couple things that Dads can take from this passage here in John.
First, pass on the good that you’ve gotten from your Father, whenever possible. Let your kids know that your father had a positive impact in your life.
Now I understand that that’s not always easy for some people. I’m fortunate, because my dad gave me some great stuff that I can apply to my kids.