Week 2 Day 11
22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of
the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look,
there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and
lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But
first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
Why does Jesus call himself the Son of Man, and what does this mean? After all,
“Christ” and “Lord” are the most often used titles for Jesus in the New Testament.
Jesus, however, calls himself the “Son of Man” most frequently. Determining the way in which Jesus used this name is vital if we want to know what Jesus thought about himself.
There is no doubt that Jesus was fully human. It is also clear that Jesus was a prophet. While these ideas may be incorporated into Jesus’ use of the title “Son of Man,” they are not the title’s primary meanings. When Jesus says he’s the “Son of Man,” he has something far greater in mind. In Daniel 7:13, the prophet records a vision where the rule of the earth is given to “one
like a son of man.” This “one” reigns over all “peoples, nations, and languages” in a kingdom that will never end (v.14). When Jesus calls himself the “Son of Man,” he is identifying himself with this heavenly figure.
Jesus also says that the disciples will be eager to see him with them all again, but they won’t see him because he’ll no longer be on earth and will not yet have returned. When the time comes for him to return, it will be in a dramatic and visible way, seen by all, just like the brightness and suddenness of lightning. There will be absolutely no question that it’s really him coming back!
We might ask ourselves, “Why didn’t Jesus just tell everyone outright that he was the Messiah?” A great question! Many times, he declared that he spoke in parables so only those who were really listening to what he said would understand. Ultimately, Jesus gave a bold answer at the right time and place when he was on trial being questioned by the Pharisees. They asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the living God?” Jesus answered, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man coming with great power and glory.” (Matt 26:63-64) So he confessed his deity right at the point where he knew he would be crucified for it.
Jesus, the Son of Man, knew that he would suffer a terrible, torturous death for his claim
to being the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. Yet he loved us so much, he gave his
life so that we could glorify God and enjoy him eternally forever. What great joy to anticipate his return! In the meantime, we should do his work, loving God and others as he commanded us to.
Think of a time when you noticed a thunderstorm coming. How did you know it was approaching? Did you do anything to get ready for it? What excites you about the return of Jesus?
Jesus, thank you for not hiding from us and for hearing us in our prayers right now. We look forward to your coming again as you promised!