Reading: Ezekiel 21; Daniel 7:1-14
Summary: Of the many titles and references used for Jesus, “Son of Man” is the most frequent. It is also the only one used by Jesus in referring to Himself and He’s the only one to use it. Though it appears in all four Gospels, it is occurs most frequently in Matthew. The reference is of Old Testament origin. It’s found some 90 times in Ezekiel, although these are all references by God of the prophet. The only use of it in reference to the coming Messiah is found in Daniel.
Today’s reading from Ezekiel is as a sample of the frequent use of the term in that book and in Daniel of the Messianic passage that is the origin for the term used by Jesus.
Son of Man
There’s a story of a man who noticed a very small flock of birds huddled near his garage door as a violent storm approached. His thought was that if he could somehow get them into his garage they’d be protected and safe. Of course, his every attempt to move, coerce, and influence the movement of those birds was futile. They only scattered and fled with every approach. “If they just knew I was trying to help them” he thought. Finally he resigned himself to the notion that the only way he could possibly lead those vulnerable creatures to safety is if he were somehow to become a bird like them. Then they could know and then he could save them.
Jesus became a man, just like us, to lead us to the safety of the Father. He became one of us. He became like us. He suffered temptation in every point like us—yet without sin—so that He might be a faithful High Priest. He leads us. He is the initiator and the pioneer of our faith (Php. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:10, 17; 4:14-15; 12:2).
Jesus chose the title “Son of Man” to refer to Himself above all other names. Might it be that this is because He sees becoming one of us as one of His most important achievements? His love is so great that even in designating Himself He chose the name that connects with us.