[Unless otherwise stated, all quotations are taken from the NKJV]
In His life and ministry Jesus often spoke of Himself as ‘the Son of Man’. He challenged those who thought to become His disciple with the words, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head’, Matt. 8. 20. The term appears thirty-one times in Matthew, fourteen times in Mark, twenty-five times in Luke, and thirteen times in John. Jesus loved to use the title of Himself!
The term emphasizes His humanity. He is one of us, perfectly, completely human, apart from sin. And sin is not an essential part of humanity, but a corruption.
When Adam sinned and rebelled, the whole human race was present in him, genetically, and representatively. As such, he dragged the whole race down, and, today, we share his fallen nature and its penalty. Thus, we were ‘in Adam’ spiritually. But when we repent and receive Christ as Saviour we become linked to Him. We are ‘in Christ’ and share in His death, burial, and resurrection, Gal. 2. 20.
The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. And, as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man, 1 Cor. 15. 47, 49. Thank God for that second Man, the Son of Man come from heaven.
The Lord Jesus was familiar with Daniel’s visions: ‘And behold one like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away. And His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed’, Dan. 7. 13-14.
Jesus claimed this prophecy for Himself and affirmed that it described His coming again to set up His kingdom, Matt. 24. 30; 26. 64. When the high priest heard His claims, he exploded with anger, and demanded the death of Jesus. To him, this was blasphemy. And it was, unless Christ’s claims were true. And today, around the world, believers look forward to His coming to catch up believers and to set up His kingdom. They pray, ‘Thy kingdom come!’