Why does Jesus refer to himself as the "Son of Man"? This is similar to Why does Jesus speak of himself in the third person?, but I am specifically looking for an explanation of the "Son of Man" references.
From "The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels"
There are several theories about what Jesus was alluding to in calling himself son of Man (literally son of 'a-dam'):
With any of these motives, by speaking of himself in the third person, he is making an audacious claim (the power!) but couching it in the most humble terms he can.
I would say He referred to himself as "the son of man" to keep His identity a secret until it was the right time to die and let the Jews know He was the messiah. (as he did in Mark 14:61-64) Not only is He the son of God, but He is too the son of Joseph. A man of flesh. This going along with Hammer's answer on March 10 that He is speaking from God's point of view.
Jesus wanted to keep His identity secretive until the right and final moment. Which is why He silenced the demons in Mark 1:34 and others in Matthew 8:3-4, 16:20 & 17:9 so that they would not say He was the son of God and He would be charged with Blasphemy.
This is a reference to a vision in the book of the prophet Daniel:
Jesus refers to this when He is brought before the council, as described in Mark 14:
See also: Luke 22:69
He also refers to it when speaking about the End Times:
He was alluding that he would fulfill the prophecy made by the Prophet Daniel in Daniel 7.
It was as direct a claim of messiah ship a first century Jew could make. The Jews understood this and is why he was so widely held as a blasphemer by the Jewish people. This is further reiterated by passages like
The Jews understood that only God had the power to forgive sin. We even have a passage where his disciples admit that he is the messiah.
I have heard that it is a mystery why Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man. And yet it was in fact what Jesus called Himself the most.
I see it like this, Jesus is speaking as God, because He is God. His perspective on everything is from the point of view of God. So what makes Jesus unique foremost, is not that He is a man who is God, but rather that He is God, but also a man. In all the Universe, here is God as "the Son of Man (mankind)". Or - I am God and also a man, not I am a man who is also God.
protected by Caleb♦ Oct 22 '14 at 8:39
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