The references to the Son of Man title in the Scriptures include these: Seed of the Women, Seed of Abraham, Second Adam, the Last Adam, the one Man of Rom. 5, the second Man and the heavenly Man of I Cor. 15. This title for Jesus Christ stands distinctly separate from the title of Messiah; therefore, the promises associated with both are equally distinct and separate. And yes, the groups these promises are made to are discrete from each other as well.
Adam, in the beginning in paradise, is a type of the second Adam, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of Man (Rom. 5:14). Then, when man fell in sin, in God’s cursing of the serpent afterward, we see the declaration of the Seed of the woman (who is Jesus Christ, the Son of Man) that would eventually come and crush the power of the serpent. Also, when God confirmed the covenant of promise to Abraham, it was confirmed in his one Seed, who is Christ (Gal. 3:16-18). All this points to Christ as the Son of Man, in that title and character, and it all predates the existence of Israel and any thought of David or a Messiah from his linage. It is easy to see that God’s counsels and purposes, from the foundation of the world, have their greatest scope and range in Christ, the Son of Man come down from heaven (John 3:13). This can be clearly traced through the scriptures.
The Gospel of the Son of Man
There is also a distinct gospel associated with the mission and work of the Son of Man. We saw previously that Messiah came to Israel with a gospel of healing the masses of the Jews, feeding the thousands, and delivering their oppressed out of Satan’s hands. It was a gospel geared to man in the flesh, with many physical blessings, punctuated with miracles, signs and wonders. The gospel of Messiah (Luke 4:18-21) was the preaching of the fulfillment of promises and prophecy; those promises associated with His coming to Israel. But the gospel of the Son of Man is quite different from this;
1 Cor. 15:1-4:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
This passage easily identifies what is contained in the gospel of the Son of Man, as this whole chapter (1 Cor. 15) is about the Son of Man, the Last Adam and the work associated with Him. It is the one gospel preached during the age of grace by which a man may be saved. It is in this gospel, uniquely identified with Paul’s mission and ministry, and of which he was not ashamed, that the righteousness of God was contained (Rom. 1:16-17). And of great importance to note, concerning this gospel of the Son of Man, is that it is simply the preaching of Christ crucified (put to death);
1 Cor. 1:22-24
“For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
This gospel of the Son of Man was distinct and different from that of Messiah. This contained suffering, crucifixion, death for our sins and then on to resurrection, ascension, and exaltation. This was not Messiah as come to His own (Israel), but the Son of Man as Savior of the world, glorified to the right hand of the Majesty on high, and as we will eventually see, Redeemer of all creation. The redemptive work of God on man’s behalf is the work of the Son of Man, and this is clearly distinguished in the scriptures, so much so, that we constantly see the Lord Himself making this association in the gospels.
Jesus’ Own Words Concerning the Work of the Son of Man
“But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands” (Mark 9:12)
“Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men,” (Matt. 26:45, Mark 14:21, Luke 9:44, Luke 22:48)
“You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;” (Matt. 20:18, Matt. 20:28)
We can easily see from the above scriptures that Jesus Himself associates betrayal, suffering, crucifixion, and death, with the Son of Man. But He goes further in His testimony as He describes how the Old Testament prophet Jonah is a type prefiguring the redemptive work of the Son of Man, and that after death, on the third day there would be resurrection.
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 16:4, Luke 11:29-30)
Other times in the gospels the Lord directly references the resurrection of the Son of Man.
“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 9:31, Luke 9:22, Luke 24:7)
“Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”
The Son of Man Title in Prophecy
At other times Jesus points out the biblical truth that there are prophetic scriptures concerning the Son of Man and His suffering. I believe this to be an important understanding, because I wouldn’t then consider these as Messianic prophecies. Many believers and ministers tend to consider any prophetic reference to Christ in the Old Testament as Messianic. In doing so, we fail to distinguish between the two titles, as Christ Himself distinguished between them. Look at what Jesus is saying here;
“Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.”
“The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”
It is clear from our Lord’s own words that the prophets spoke about the Son of Man. Also Jesus is saying that there is a specific work associated with, and to be accomplished by, the Son of Man, as spoken in the prophecies. The Son of Man title is not the same as Messiah and the work of the Son of Man is not the same as the work of Messiah. If you do not acknowledge this as found in prophecy, you confound certain aspects of the counsels of God in your thinking. If this distinction is not made concerning prophecy, then you make the mistake of thinking that all prophetic reference to Jesus is Messianic. Next you have to make the work of Messiah and that of the Son of Man one and the same. This thinking simply cannot be supported by Scripture, and it is contradicted by the very words of Jesus.
The redemptive work of the Son of Man is certainly a subject found in the prophets. The Lord Himself has acknowledged this fact here in these verses. Isaiah 53 is prophetic concerning the Son of Man; it is not Messianic and never references the Anointed of Jehovah. Psalm 22 is the Son of Man as well. Psalm 2 is about the Son of God and Messiah, and Psalm 132 is Messianic also. But Psalm 8 is about the Son of Man, and is quoted three separate times by the Spirit of God in Paul’s epistles in direct reference to the redemptive work. This work is again spoken of by the Lord;
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Messiah Stays Forever; the Son of Man Would Go Away
The Lord also speaks of His glorification as the Son of Man while in the presence of His enemies. After His resurrection He would go away to the right hand of God.
“Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
It is Christ, as the Son of Man, that is now sitting at the right hand of the Power (again, His own words). He sat down there as having finished forever the redemptive work. He is there, now, as the Son of Man glorified. He is not there as Messiah. The Messiah of prophecy, and this as properly understood by the Jews, having come to Israel, would remain forever (John 12:34). But the Son of Man, as spoken by Jesus, is always going away (John 8:21). This is an important contrast between the two titles of Christ in the counsels of God, and the carrying out of their distinctive work.
And the Lord, speaking to His enemies at His trial, refers to the Son of Man coming back in judgment to this earth by saying,”…coming on the clouds of heaven.” We see in Rev. 1:7, that the Son of Man coming with clouds results in all the tribes of the earth mourning, particularly those who had pierced Him. A kingdom being given to the Son of Man has always been the subject of prophetic scripture (Dan. 7); Jesus specifically references it here in Matthew’s gospel;
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the land lament, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (see also Rev. 1:7)
“But when the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit down upon his throne of glory,”
There are many other scriptures that speak these same truths and make these same associations that we will eventually look at, especially in Paul’s epistles. If there is truth in what I am claiming concerning these principles and associations, and they are the mind of God and His counsels, they will be found in the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the epistles to the church. But here I concentrate on the personal testimony of Jesus Himself. We have His very own words identifying Himself as the Son of Man. And He connects His redemptive work and exaltation to the right hand of God with that character and title. Further examples of these associations are even seen in the parables:
The Son of Man and the Kingdom of Heaven
Matt 13: 36-38,
“Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.”
In Jewish thought concerning the coming of Messiah and His kingdom, and certainly justified and correct as revealed in prophetic testimony, is the expected throwing off and setting aside of Gentile rule and dominion forever. The earthly dominion of Messiah in and with the Jewish people as a consequence of this ‘throwing off’ of the Gentiles was and is the anticipation of every Israelite rightly held through their belief in the prophetic scriptures. It was into the midst of these beliefs and aspirations Jesus Christ was sent. Yet He and the Baptist emphatically put forth a unique and different declaration, which was, “the kingdom of heaven was at hand” (Matt. 3:2, 4:17, 10:7, and 13:24-30).
He was and is their Messiah. He came in the midst of a people longing for a Messianic kingdom as they were properly taught to expect by scripture. However a new revelation He gives, involving a mystery, an entirely different kind of kingdom, and all centered on the title and role of the Son of Man (Matt. 13:37). Please note; the kingdom of heaven is a specific revelation and operation of God distinct to the role of Christ as the Son of Man raised and glorified. This is of importance for properly understanding the revelation and character of this kingdom and God’s counsels concerning it.
One of the obvious characteristics of the parables depicting the kingdom of heaven is a king, landowner, or master of the house having gone away for a period of time. They often concern the events that occur while He is away or the judgments when He returns. For example, ten virgins are waiting for the return of the bridegroom, the parable concerning itself with how they wait (Matt. 25:1-13). Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, and concerns what His servants do in preparation for His return (Matt. 25:14). Then the kingdom, while the Son of Man is away, has this specific experience — leaven begins to be spread into the three loaves from beginning to end, until it penetrates all (Matt. 13:33). Now all these parables are filled with great insights and spiritual instruction concerning the kingdom, but the specific characteristic of the Son of Man being depicted as “away” is common to them all. My point being, one cannot assign Messianic promises, thoughts of the throne of David, and Israel as twelve tribes restored in the Promised Land to any of Christ’s parables depicting the kingdom of heaven. It absolutely does not fit. Any effort to do so requires an intentional twisting and turning of scripture that in no conceivable way is guided by the Spirit of God.
It may be important to understand the entire scope of the kingdom of heaven and not to make the mistake in thinking it is simply the church, the body of Christ, on the earth. The understanding of the kingdom revolves around the sovereign work of the Son of Man and His going away for a period of time. But it also includes His return, His judgments, and a millennial reign of the Son of Man over this earth (Matt. 13:41), during which time every enemy is put down, the last one being death in man (1 Cor. 15:24-26). This kingdom also includes the Old Testament saints (Matt. 8:11). Now concerning the body of Christ, the church, it should be clear; the wheat had been separated from the tares, and then removed from the field of the world long before most of these things occur (Matt. 13:30). The parables depicting the kingdom of heaven only show certain aspects and characteristics of it, and often, only certain partial periods of time concerning it. You would have to put them all together to view the entire scope of this kingdom.
The kingdom of heaven is directly related to Jesus as the Son of Man (Matt. 13:37). When this kingdom was spoken of by Jesus or John the Baptist, it was not yet, but “at hand,” (that is, soon, but not present yet – Matt. 4:17). This kingdom could not come until the redemptive work of the Son of Man was completed and the Son of Man was raised and ascended back to heaven (John 6:62). It is only through the work of the Son of Man that there are sons of the Kingdom – Matt. 13:38 (these are sons unto the Father – Rom. 8:14-17, Gal. 4:6-7). He is directly responsible for planting them and bringing them forth.
It is called the kingdom of heaven because the King, in a sense, has gone away to heaven. Also the wheat is the heavenly calling of God. Finally, it is a biblical principle that the heavens rule the kingdoms of men (Dan. 4:25-26). All these reasons lead to the title of ‘the kingdom of heaven’ for the current form of the kingdom of God. The Son of Man is this King, who after the redemptive work, after being raised from the dead and glorified, went away to heaven to receive a kingdom, so to speak. One of the important points not to miss is that the kingdom of heaven is related only to a raised and glorified Son of Man. And I reiterate this truth; the glorifying of the Son of Man meant He had to leave, to go away, because, in the counsels of God, this glorification is all the way to the right hand of the Majesty on high. What we discover through the teaching in the remainder of this book is the meaning of all this and the meaning of Jesus’ own words here;
“Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
He is there as the Son of Man now, at this very moment. He is there as a Man. He is there as a glorified Man. He is there as a Man having finished a specific work assigned to Him from God (Matt. 20:28, Luke 18:31, and John 12:27). And He is there as having been on earth and having gone away. All this speaks of the title and role of Jesus as the Son of Man. What we will learn and discover is why this “as Man” is so important.
The parable in Matt. 13 depicts certain aspects of the kingdom of heaven, as seen from the world’s viewpoint, while the King is away (in heaven, and in a certain sense, hidden there from the world – Col. 3:1-3). As I said previously, this definitely doesn’t describe Messiah’s Kingdom, and these sons are not Israel (at least not Israel any longer, Gal. 3:27-28). And all of Israel knew from Moses, as I’ve mentioned earlier, that when Messiah came, He would remain forever, if He was received.
Israel confused about the Son of Man
“The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
This certainly doesn’t fit the title of Messiah or the makings of the Messianic Kingdom. The Messiah and His coming kingdom over Israel was something understood by every Jew. The Son of Man lifted up and going away, as you can easily see here, is all confusion to them, as it was also to His disciples. That is why Jesus, as the time drew near, constantly spoke to His disciples about the Son of Man suffering many things. But even then they did not understand (and to a great extent, the disciples remained confounded concerning Christ as Messiah and a Messianic Kingdom, even after the resurrection. In Acts 1 we see Jesus, the resurrected Son of Man, about to ascend to the right hand of God (Luke 22:69), and they all are still entertaining thoughts of an immediate kingdom restored to Israel. They held on to these thoughts well past the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Not until the calling of Paul and the direct revelations given to him by Christ did these understandings become clear – Eph. 3:3-4). And when His sufferings began, they were shocked, and frightened, and scattered, every man to his own (John 16:32, Matt. 26:31, 56).
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,”
“Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.”
In the gospel of John we find some very unique statements made by Jesus in reference to the Son of Man. In both of the above verses we have the Son of Man being lifted up, which signifies the redemptive work He would do. When this phrase ‘lifted up’ is used in John 3, it hints at certain spiritual truths in redemption. Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness is a type/shadow, a teaching tool used extensively by the Spirit of God in scripture (for better understanding of the use of types/shadows please read the next chapter). The serpent lifted up on the stick is cursed of God; just as Jesus hanging on the tree is cursed in the same way, that being, by God.
The Son of Man Identified with Suffering and Death – the Redemptive Work
Before going to the Types and Shadows chapter, I want to list a few other gospel scriptures where Jesus’ own words make the Son of Man title prominent. And as usual I would like to make a few comments where explanation may be warranted:
“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
“Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
“Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?”
“For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
“Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
“But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
I mentioned previously that John’s gospel contained some unique references by the Lord concerning the Son of Man. Here is one that I believe stands out;
“And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Here the Son of Man is the fulfillment of an Old Testament type/shadow known as Jacob’s ladder. Jesus, in the role of Son of Man, would become the bridge or ladder of blessing between God and man. Again, it is the redemptive work alone that would bring blessing and grace from God to man and provide the means and nature for man to have a relationship with God. This is what John 3:1-18 is about – an entirely new nature by which a man may have a relationship with God and be able to see and have entrance into the kingdom of God. And from where did these truths come and who brought this heavenly knowledge about this new creation to man? None other than the Son of Man who is in heaven:
The Son of Man and Heavenly Things
“Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
The Son of Man, as in heaven, could alone have this heavenly knowledge to bring testimony of it to man. He witnesses concerning what He knows and what He has seen, as being the Son of Man there in heaven. This is truly heavenly knowledge and only He who came down from heaven has it to give. Then in the very next verse, John 3:14, He directly links this new nature with the redemptive work of the Son of Man.
There is a deeper understanding to be found here in Jesus’ conversation with this man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus (John 3:1). He, being a ruler of the Jews, should have been able to understand certain things Jesus was willing to speak to him about. The earthly things, which Jesus shares with him, yet he does not receive, are all Messianic and earthly in nature and calling, promises to Israel concerning the earthly portion of the kingdom of God He is referencing. The heavenly things are about the heavenly portion of the kingdom of God; this is the kingdom of heaven, the work of Son of Man lifted up that establishes this, and the Son of Man come down from heaven who alone could reveal this particular heavenly knowledge (John 3:10-15). Both portions of the kingdom of God, the earthly and the heavenly, still require a new creation, an entirely new nature for man, in order to enter; this new nature speaks of the ability to have a proper relationship with God, more so than just mere entrance in. Regardless, Jesus knew Nicodemus could not understand these heavenly things. And it is sad, for truly the earthly things were all about to be set aside in the counsels of God, for a long period of time. Only heavenly things are available presently.
The Son of God, the Messiah, and the Son of Man
Allow me to share this little sequence of events found in John’s gospel from chapter 11:1 through 12:36. Here we find the testimony of the Father God given of Jesus, as to who He is and all He was; but also it is a testimony of the counsels of God concerning Him as sent into the world and as come unto His own (John 1:10-11). It is a testimony given after the Jews had rejected Jesus, rejecting His words (John 8) and rejecting His works (John 9). This testimony serves to condemn the Jews (John 15:22-24) and the world (John 12:28-31), exposing the true state and condition of man. In raising Lazarus from the dead the Father shows that Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:4). During His entry into Jerusalem He is hailed as the King of Israel, son of David, the Messiah (John 12:13-15, Matt. 21:9). But when the Greeks (Gentiles) come wishing to speak to Him (John 12:21-22), then it is all about the Son of Man being lifted up (John 12:32) and glorified.
The Son of Man in Redemption – the Grain of Wheat that Falls to the Ground and Dies
“But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
I add the 24th verse here to show conclusively how Jesus constantly identifies this title of Son of Man with His death. This is of the greatest importance to clearly see and understand. There are some other thoughts associated with Jesus and the title of ‘the Son of Man’, such as His humanity. He had a humanity that was certainly different than ours born in Adam, for He was born of God by the Holy Spirit in Mary (Luke 1:35). Nevertheless, His humanity, as seen in the title ‘the Son of Man’, leads to His death. It is His death that is the redemptive work. His death is the source of all redemptive truths and realities for believers.
God is not just doing something fancy and impressive, this Man being born of a virgin. The incarnation is a special birth that provides two indispensable qualities for the accomplishing of the work. It provides to Jesus a humanity that is for the suffering of death (Heb. 2:9). It also provides the spotless sacrifice that alone could be offered-up to God (Heb. 9:14). This is why He was sent as the Son of Man from heaven – to suffer death. This is why He was made, for a time, a little lower than the angels.
Also there is the thought of His dependence on another and obedience to another that is associated with the title Son of Man. He depended on God and a constant communion with Him: so we see Him setting Himself apart in prayer. His obedience is that He came to do the will of God exclusively, and not His own will. This will of God’s was specifically the Son of Man’s death (Heb. 10:5-10). His dependence on God gives Him the strength to carry out His obedience to the will of God, and not His own, sending Him to His death as Man. It is His death that is central to any redemptive reality and blessing in grace. His death is the reason the Son of Man came down from heaven (John 3:13-15). His death is central to understanding the will of God in sending Him (John 12:23, 24, and 27).
The Son of Man Title is Inseparably Linked to His Redemptive Death
When the Son of Man is lifted up, it is His death Jesus is speaking of (John 3:14, 8:28, and 12:32-34). The Son of Man three days and three nights in the heart of the earth is Jesus in the grave having died. The Son of Man is the one delivered up to be crucified (Matt. 26:2), and also the one condemned to death (Mark 10:33). It is the Son of Man who came for this very reason, to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). It should be without controversy that the title of Christ as the Son of Man is inseparably linked to His death. His death is center to the work of redemption, for the giving of His life is the ransom and His blood is absolutely the only propitiation before the face of God (Rom. 3:24-25). He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26) and His being offered up is the means of bearing the sins of many (Heb. 9:28). The only two Christian ordinances we have – water baptism and the Lord’s supper, both point to His death. God’s redemptive work on behalf of man centers on the death of Jesus Christ, and cannot be separated from the title of the Son of Man.
I make this point in a repetitive way for a reason. I want you to realize and fully understand that His death, and His death alone, is the price paid, the ransom met, the propitiation made to God on man’s behalf – this alone defines the redemptive work of God, the redemption of man as a sinner, the righteousness of God contained in the gospel, and the love of God shown in the cross. Redemption is all about His death. Many others in the church world point to other things when defining redemption and quickly depart from the counsels of God. But the believer can clearly see, by the light of the Spirit, that in God’s counsels before the foundation of the world, there was always a Lamb slain as to what all God’s thoughts and purposes centered on (Rev. 13:8).
It simply follows then, that anywhere in Scripture, where it speaks of the redemptive work of God, it is speaking of Jesus as the Son of Man. In the epistles, especially in Paul’s letters, we have a much greater degree of development of the doctrines of redemption than anywhere in the gospels. Even though the title of Son of Man is only seen indirectly, under the different forms I’ve previously mentioned, it is still the same redemptive work; it is the same death, and the same sacrifice being offered-up that Jesus, in the gospels, links to the title of the Son of Man. Other forms are used, but they all point to redemption, and they all point to the role of Jesus as the Son of Man. For example, after reading the Types and Shadows chapter, we should understand that the Seed of Abraham is truly the Son of Man raised from the dead. And again, the Seed of the women from Genesis, that crushes the power of the serpent, is none other than the Son of Man, who through death destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb. 2:14).
The Glorified Man of Psalm 8
The Son of Man title originates from Psalm 8, where the first Adam can only serve as a type/shadow of the second Adam, the true Son of Man. The Spirit of God through Paul identifies Psalm 8 as speaking of Jesus, who we see crowned with glory and honor, but not all things yet put under Him (Heb. 2:6-9). Also the term is found in Daniel 7, associated with the Ancient of Days, a kingdom that fills the whole earth, and thrones of judgment. In Rev. 1, Jesus is identified as both the Son of Man and the Ancient of Days (Rev. 1:7, 13-17). You should not be concerned that the term ‘Son of Man’ is not used in the epistles. In Matthew’s gospel, the term ‘kingdom of heaven’ is used thirty-one (31) times. That is the only place you will find it. Yet it remains a term of great significance and revelation, as does the title ‘Son of Man.’ The two terms are closely related, as we have already seen.
Then in John 13:31-32,
“When therefore he was gone out, Jesus says, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God also shall glorify him in himself, and shall glorify him immediately.”
This verse may be a little confusing at first, but it is where we are headed in this book – being able to see clearly the Son of Man in the glory. That is where He is right now, in the glory of God. This was the plan and counsels of God before the foundation of the world, a Man exalted and brought into the glory (Heb. 2:6-9). And for the believer, that is how we see and know Him now.Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man…”