Daniel 7:13-14
“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 worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

John 1:50-51
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?”

Revelation 14:14
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

When I was younger, I used to think that the title “Son of Man” emphasized the humanity of Jesus, just as the title “Son of God” emphasized the divinity of Jesus.  As I studied the Scriptures more, the Holy Spirit showed me that the title is more than I thought it was.  That’s the benefit of studying the Bible: it corrects your wrong ideas and helps you see the Savior more clearly.

Now there is a sense in which the Son of Man does emphasize Jesus’ humanity.  That is the way the title is used in other parts of Scripture.  It is used most often in Ezekiel, as the way that God typically addresses Ezekiel (93 times!).  Daniel is also once addressed that way (Daniel 8:17).  The title is Jesus’ most frequent way of referring to himself.

But when the Bible refers to Jesus as the Son of Man, it also emphasizes his deity.  Look at the verses from Daniel.  In the Old Testament, only God is said to ride on clouds.  This Son of Man is given authority and power over all the earth, for all eternity (see Matthew 28:18).  No mere man could receive or exercise that.  Notice Jesus’ words to Nathaniel in John 1.  He says that angels will ascend and descend on him from heaven to earth.  He himself, in other words, is the stairway between heaven and earth (see Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:10-15); he is the way, the only mediator between God and man.  And in Revelation, we see Jesus—again seated on a cloud—with a crown on his head and sickle in his hand, prepared to begin the final judgment.

So, when you hear Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man, see him in all his glory.  He is the one to whom all power is given, who is the only way of salvation, who is the coming judge.  As Jesus told Nicodemus, he is the Son of Man who must be lifted up “that everyone who believes might have eternal life in him” (John 3:15).  Once again, we need a bigger manger!  

Do you believe in him?  Trust in this Savior, this one who died for sinners, who is the only mediator between God and man, who will one day return to judge all mankind.  Sing with the angels, “Glory to the newborn King!”

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As thou hast promised, draw men unto thee.
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore his sacred name.

(George W. Kitchin)

A victor’s crown my Savior won, his work of love and mercy done,
The Father’s high ascended Son: all glory be to Jesus!

(Timothy Dudley-Smith)

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