Mark's Gospel

Previous Content Next

Son of Man

Jesus' use of the title Son of Man is generally held to come from Daniel 7:13 which refers to a mysterious heavenly being, a 'Son of Man' to whom is given 'glory and kingly power', a sovereignty which shall not pass away. Daniel discloses that the Son of Man represents the 'saints of the Most High', that is, the people of God. Jesus saw himself as this Son of Man, the Messiah, the one chosen by God to create His people. 'Son of Man' was not a popular Messianic title, and because of its mysterious nature Jesus could safely use it without making public claim to Messiahship, which would have brought his ministry to a precipitate end.

In Daniel the Son of Man receives a kingdom from God and Jesus associates the title with his own eventual triumph. 'When the Son of Man comes in his glory.., he will sit in state on his throne, with all the nations gathered before him' (Matthew 25:31). The people of God are to share in his triumph. Jesus felt that he himself combined in his person the Son of Man of Daniel with the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, for he knew that 'the Son of Man must suffer many things' (Luke 9:22) and that he came 'not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many' (Mark 10:45). This fusion of the functions of the Son of Man and the Suffering Servant was unique.

Previous Content Next