John 1:51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 3:13-15 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
Christ referred to Himself as the â€œSon of Manâ€ so that He could relate with man. For the believer this is to be seen, as Christ showed Himself fully as the Man who would redeem mankind.
Jesus Christ referred to Himself with this title, â€œSon of Man,â€ very often. The way that Christ used it is of importance to understanding why He did so, and how it relates to mankind – particularly believers. A title such as â€œSon of Manâ€ would have never been used by anyone at His time; so in using it, Christ showed His pre-eminence above all mankind in being The Man. It is important to make mention that the only instance of an individual making this claim in the New Testament besides Christ Himself, is in Acts 7:56 where Stephen says, â€œâ€˜Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.â€™â€ One often wonders here at Jesus Christ Himself when He stated in Luke 12:8, â€œAnd I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God.â€ Stephen would have known these words of Christ to the Sanhedrin. It is a wonderful picture that he would have went home to, seeing Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God in the heavens.
For the believer it is significant to see how Christ made this claim, and in what senses it relatedÂ to the believers of His day, and for the believer today. First, this claim was always and only used to refer to Himself. When Christ uses the term â€œSon of Man,â€ it is often used to mean â€œIâ€ so that He could relate with the culture of the time. An example of this is found in Luke 9:35, where Christ says to His disciples, â€œAnd Jesus said to him, â€˜Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.â€™â€
Another way that Christ used this term was in emphasizing the importance of His full humanity, in that He would have to suffer and be put to death. The term â€œSon of Man,â€ used by the former Prophets speaking to the suffering aspect of the Messiah, was commonly used, but may not have been fully understood by the disciples at this time. Here Jesus Christ reveals exactly what it means: that the Son of Man would suffer – when in Mark 8:31 He states, â€œAnd he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.â€ Such a claim would have brought much enlightenment to the disciples in what was about to happen in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
Lastly, the way in which Christ referred to Himself by the term â€œSon of Manâ€ was a claim to authority that He had upon creation, showing His superiority over all things, and being the absolute truth. The Son of Man had full domain over all things, unlike common mankind. This term, then, was to show that Christ is The Man, over all things.
How great to see how important it is for Christ to reveal Himself to mankind, so that He couldÂ save mankind. The fact that Jesus Christ claimed Himself as one like mankind shows us the relationshipÂ that He had with His disciples, and has with His fellow brethren. The believer can boast in the fact thatÂ this title shows that He came to fulfill the scriptures in that the Son of Man was to suffer for them. ToÂ boast in the One who not only made a way to relate with the believer and suffer for the believer, but also to relate Himself like that of man, gives more of a reality to the suffering that He truly took on for His people. As believers, we must boast in the truth that Christ lowered Himself to be called â€œSon of Man.â€ But moreover, boast in The Man who is to be lifted high among all men for His suffering; and given dominion over all things, and is to be praised and thanked.