Friday, April 22, 2011

Son of Man

I have often wondered why Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man in the gospels and not the title - Son of God or Messiah. So I did some research. I found - as with anything that God does - there was not a linear reason for this title, but one multifaceted reason.

Reason #1 Jesus came first for his chosen people, the Hebrews, so he spoke in phrases they would understand. The phrase 'Son of Man' refers to the Book of Daniel, the prophet of the Old Testament. " I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him." The Hebrews of the first century would have understood that the Son of Man was the Messiah.

Reason #2 Satan knew him, but didn't know why he had come to earth. In Matthew 4:1 we see that the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. It was here that Satan confronted him - while he was alone. Satan knew who he was - "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loves of bread." Satan knew who he was but did not know the purpose for his visit. If your enemy suddenly appeared in your territory, you would quickly go to your enemy to determine the purpose of his visit. Jesus wanted to keep the purpose of his earthly visit a secret. If he had referred to himself as the Messiah, Satan would have known the exact plan of God, and would try to thwart the plan. All the details of the Messiah (dying on a tree, the final sacrificial lamb) are prophesied in the Old Testament. Even Satan knows what is written in the scriptures, but he has no foreknowledge and cannot read our minds.

I think these two reasons are why Jesus was silent about his title, Son of God. The scriptures are the battle plans for the restoration of man and the earth. Many of those plans are written in code to keep the enemy confused. To decipher the code, a person must possess the Holy Spirit, and to possess the Holy Spirit, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

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