Son of Man, Part 3
Jesus came to Earth being fully God and fully human simultaneously. The unique name “Son of Man” ties these two elements of our Savior wonderfully. He used this title to describe Himself many times throughout the Gospels, showing both His humility as a human and His authority as the God of heaven and Earth.
As we wrap up our 3-part series on the Son of Man, we see this title used in Daniel to describe a human being who is somehow able to ride on clouds and approach God without hesitation. When Jesus was on trial, He used this title again to identify Himself to the self-righteous Sanhedrin, which didn’t realize it was judging the Judge of the entire universe. After listening to this week’s conclusion, you’ll look at the name “Son of Man” in a new light, knowing why the deity and humanity of Jesus are so important for us to grasp.
If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can Listen here:
Chris Katulka: Welcome to the Friends of Israel Today. I'm Chris Katulka, your host and teacher. Steve Conover, the executive producer is out. He'll be back in two weeks. We want to encourage you before we get started in our program to visit foiradio.org, and there you'll find trustworthy and accurate news on Israel and the Middle East. And while you're there, you can support our ministry by clicking on the donate button, to help us out, to continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Again, you can do that by going to foiradio.org. Now we have a fantastic show for you lined up. We're going to be wrapping up our series on the Son of man.
We've looked at the multifaceted nature of this phrase, this title that Jesus loves to use about himself, about his Messianic identity. And today, we're going to look at the prophetic aspects of this title, the Son of man. But before we get there, let's look at the news.
Chris Katulka: Were you aware that Israel has a new prime minister? His name is Yair Lapid. No, Israel did not have elections. Those are coming. Yair Lapid is the interim prime minister of Israel. After the former leader Naftali Bennett's government was dissolved by the Knesset. Members of Bennett's own party were unsatisfied with his leadership, and they left the coalition government leaving a minority in the parliament. Well, here's my take, Lapid and Bennett struck a deal a year ago to share the position as prime minister in order to oust Netanyahu. Bennett was slated to serve two years and Lapid the remaining two years. That's the reason Lapid moved into the premier seat so quickly. Waiting in the wings though, and grinning from cheek to cheek is Netanyahu. Israel now moves to elections after only one year of the Bennett government.
Chris Katulka: We're concluding the series we've titled The Son of Man. The title “Son of man,” if you've not already been a part of what we've been doing, our series, it's an honorific title. And it really stands out in the new Testament. One that Jesus loves to use about himself. One that roots back to the Old Testament. And when Jewish people in Jesus' day heard this honorific title, the Son of man, they knew exactly what it meant and who it was talking about. But here's what's interesting. This honorific title, it really, if you think about it, doesn't sound that honorific Son of man. It's not like “Messiah.” It's not like “King of kings” or “High Priest.” Those sound like honorific titles.
Yet the title “Son of man” is used, think about this, 30 times in the gospel of Matthew, 14 times in Mark, 25 times in Luke, 13 times in John. It was again, one of Jesus' favorite titles to call himself. Now, over the past two weeks, we unpacked the meaning behind the title Son of man, or in Hebrew, Ben Adam. The title Son of man, it just simply means human. It's found 96 times in the Old Testament. Once in the book of Job, 93 times in Ezekiel, and twice in Daniel. It's the passage in Daniel that we want to focus on because it's in Daniel where a Son of man matters the most because here Daniel does something very interesting with the designation.
In Ezekiel and Job, the title “Son of man,” it just means human, but in Daniel, it means human too but this human, this Son of man is doing something that drums up some interest. And it's the reason why Jesus likes to call himself the Son of man, because in Daniel, he saw visions of the kingdoms of the world, the Gentile kingdoms falling, but ultimately giving way to God's everlasting kingdom. And this is what he saw when he sees the Son of man, when he sees a human. Listen to this, he says, "I was watching in the night visions and with the clouds of the sky, one like a Son of man was approaching. And he went up to the Ancient of days and was escorted before him, and to him was given ruling authority honor and sovereignty. All peoples nations and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed."
So this Son of man from Daniel is different from the ones that we studied in Ezekiel and different from the one that we studied in Job. This human, this Son of man is doing some extraordinary things. First of all, again, the meaning Son of man doesn't change. He sees one like a human and this human is doing things like riding on clouds, approaching the Ancient of days. That's God. So one who looks like, sounds like and acts like a human is just walking up to God without zero hesitation. Remember, no man can see God and live except Daniel's human, except Daniel's Son of man.
And once again, he's brought before God, the Ancient of days, bestows on this human-like figure, ruling authority, honor and sovereignty, and everybody bows down and worships him. And his authority is eternal. It does not pass away and his kingdom will never be destroyed. That means this human-like figure has divine qualities that should not be overlooked. And this is the one God is making the ruler over the world. The king of Kings. Jesus is the Son of man. He is the one God has given all authority, power and dominion to rule over every tribe and nation and tongue. And last week we saw how Jesus used this title, Son of man, to teach his disciples about God's position and purpose for power.
As all the disciples probably thought they would be moving from the fishing industry and from tax collecting into positions of power in Israelite politics, Jesus says this amazing statement, “the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.” Which means Jesus is saying, if you think being a disciple of the Son of man means you're going to be served and treated with respect by an entourage of people, and your fellow Israelites are just going to bow down to you and you're going to be the first and everyone else will be the last, well you're wrong because the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first in the kingdom of God. And I'm going to tell you, I'm sure that one threw the disciples for a loop. But for our last installment of the Son of man series, I want to focus on Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin and the prophetic understanding of this honorific title Son of man. See it's there at the trial before the Sanhedrin, which is the political and religious leadership of Israel during Jesus' day, that he was interrogated by the leaders. And I want you to hear this interrogation as Jesus answers questions about his Messianic identity. Now that we've discussed what the Son of man means to the Jewish people, look at how Jesus uses this during his trial.
This comes from Luke chapter 22, starting in verse 66. It says this, "At daybreak, the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law met together, and Jesus was led before them. They said, “if you're the Messiah, tell us,” and Jesus answered, “if I tell you will not believe me. And if I asked you, you would not answer, but from now on, the Son of man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” And they all asked, "Are you then the son of God?" And he replied, "You say that I am." Then they said, "Why do we need anymore testimony? We have heard it from his own lips." And then the whole assembly arose and led Jesus off to Pilate.
And they began to accuse him saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes the taxes, paying taxes to Caesar, and claims to be the Messiah, a king." So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "You have said so," Jesus replied,” Now listen, notice how Jesus speaks so enigmatically about himself to the Sanhedrin. His answers leave room for questions. "Tell us if you're the Messiah." "If I told you wouldn't believe me," but then Jesus gets right to the point. "You wouldn't even believe me if I told you, but from now on," did you hear the phrase, the title, the honorific title? "The Son of man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."
Notice how Jesus doesn't say, "You're going to see me sitting at the right hand of the mighty God," but he says, "You will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of God," which means he's saying he is the Son of man from Daniel chapter seven verses 13 and 14. Do you know what I find most interesting about this statement? If the Son of man was given all authority, power and dominion over everything created by God, that means that he's the judge of all things. Think about what Jesus is saying to the Sanhedrin. He's saying, "You all sit here judging the judge of all creation. And soon enough, you will be judged by me." The Sanhedrin is interrogating the judge of all things.
Imagine if during a trial, the lawyer turned to the honorable judge and started questioning him as he was sitting on the bench. I'm sure that would look very confusing to the jury, and I'm sure the judge would find that lawyer in contempt of court, but here the judge of all things, the one that God has given all dominion and power to rule over every nation, tribe, and tongue, this judge is being judged by the Sanhedrin. That's why it's important to go back to what Jesus says about the prophetic coming of the Son of man in Matthew chapter 24 and 25.
But before we go there, first, let me tell you about our in-person National Conferences. They're back after two years because of COVID. Our in-person National Conferences are back and we're excited that we're going to be teaching about The 7 Feasts of Israel. That's Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the Feast of Tabernacles, and Firstfruits. We're going to not only be talking about the history of the 7 Feasts, but also the prophetic implications of these 7 Feasts as God lays out his plan of redemption throughout history. We want you to join us. There's two opportunities for you. First, Winona Lake, Indiana, July 22nd through the 24th, 2022. And also Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 11th through the 13th, 2022.
You can find out more information about The 7 Feasts of Israel, our in-person National Conferences by going to foi.org/conferences. Again, that's foi.org/conferences. Come and discover the rhythms of redemption through the Feasts of Israel. We hope to see you there.
Chris Katulka: Okay. So we're wrapping up our discussion about the Son of man. I've been excited to see a lot of you reach out and comment about how excited you are about this study. And I'm so glad it could encourage you in your relationship with the Lord. I'm so glad that it could encourage you as you dive into God's Word and study more about who Jesus is. This title becomes very important.
And it's been a discussion that's kind of taken us on a journey to the multifaceted nature of this divine title Jesus loves to call himself. We've seen that the Hebrew “Son of man,” it simply means human, but that when the prophet Daniel uses the phrase, he ascribes divine qualities to this human. And Daniel is saying this human is not your average Jewish Joe. He's coming on clouds. He's walking up to God without any repercussions. He's given all authority and power to rule from God. And yet Jesus teaches us, through his ministry, the way that he identifies himself as the Son of man, that he is different, he is set apart. Just listen to some of these verses where he uses the title Son of man. Do you remember this one?
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head?” The King of all things, according to Daniel 7 has no physical home. Just think about that for a minute. Or how about this? “The Son of man is Lord over the Sabbath,” which means Jesus has authority to judge what is true rest in the Lord. Or how about this one? “Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or to say, get up and walk? But I want you to know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, "Get up, take your mat and go home." Then the man got up and went home. And when the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe and they praised God who had given such authority to man. That the Son of man not only has the power to heal the sick, but also the authority to forgive sins.”
But Jesus tells us something amazing about the prophetic hope that we have in the Son of man. He tells his disciples that he's going to suffer. He says the Son of man must suffer and die according to what the prophets had taught in the Old Testament. But that the Son of man is coming back to judge and to reign and listen to these verses in Matthew chapter 24. Matthew chapter 24 verse 27 says, "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will the coming of the Son of man be." This means that Jesus, the Son of man, his return, his second coming will be visible by all, something everyone will notice.
Matthew chapter 24 verse 30 says, "Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And then the peoples, the tribes of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Here Jesus is saying that he is the Judge of all and will implement the wrath of God in order to judge sin once and for all. Matthew chapter 24 verse 44 says, "So you also must be ready because the Son of man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." The coming of Jesus, the Son of man could happen at any moment. It's imminent. That's why we are called to be ready at any moment for his return.
Whenever the New Testament writers talk about prophecy and Christ's return, it's usually coupled with our Christian walk with the Lord. How we are supposed to be living our lives as followers of Christ even today. Matthew chapter 25 verse 31 says, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne." Finally, the Son of man in the Old Testament means just a mere, mortal man that is often associated with suffering and hardships, according to Job. But for Daniel, he sees a human, a Son of man that brings hope. And when he comes in all his glory, he will sit on his glorious throne and reign over all. That Son of man, Jesus, will bring Shalom, peace, justice, and righteousness to every tribe, nation and tongue.
The title “Son of man” is simple. It means human, but when it's used to identify Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, the king of Kings, it becomes extremely complex and multifaceted. It encapsulates, the Son of man encapsulates, the humility and authority of Christ simultaneously. It shows his patience and his power in one title. It reveals his obedience and glory all at once. I hope next time you read the gospels and you see Jesus refer to himself as the Son of man, because it happens a lot. I hope that you'll stop and worship the one to whom all authority and power has been given. And yet he emptied himself to wash, think about it, his disciples feet, and to die a sinner's death as an innocent man, so that he may be raised to everlasting glory.
Steve Conover: Israel, on the verge of becoming a state, a teenage Holocaust survivor arrives on her shores alone. His name is Zvi Kalisher. Little did he know his search for a new life in the Holy Land would lead him to the Messiah. Zvi, enthusiastic to share his faith, engaged others in spiritual conversations. Many of which can be found in our magazine, Israel My Glory. While Zvi is now in the presence of his Savior, his collected writings from well over 50 years of ministry continue to encourage believers worldwide. Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life of Zvi.
Mike Kellogg: The Bible says that the people of Israel are God's chosen people, his peculiar treasure. Israelis consider this to be a great honor, but most forget, there are conditions for them to receive God's blessings. In Deuteronomy chapter 11 verses 26 through 28, the Lord said, "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, if you obey my commandments, and the curse, if you do not obey my commandments." Many Israelis believe that just because they live in Israel, God will bless them regardless of disobedience. I recently met some who believe this way. I told them, "My friends, it is not enough that you live in Israel.
Deuteronomy chapter 12, verse 1, states, “these are the statutes in judgment, which you must observe in the land, which the Lord God is giving you to possess all the days that you live on the earth." They responded, "We realize you are a Christian, and you want us to receive Jesus as our Savior as you people always say. We know you are not courageous enough to tell the rabbis what you are telling us." I replied, "Everyone must hear the truth about our Savior. And actually many times I have told rabbis what I just told you. One day, when you stand before the Lord to give an account for your life, your rabbis will not stand with you. You will stand before him alone. Neither do the rabbis have the power to forgive your sins."
They became interested in what I was sharing, but one of them said, "Our fathers lived and died following these traditions, it is hard for us to forsake the old ways." "I understand your concerns," I told them, "but if you do not change your ways, when you die, you will be lost forever with no opportunity to be saved." They seemed frightened and asked, "Do you think we have already gone too far?" "No," I answered, "this is only the beginning. When you start to fear, your eyes will be open to see biblical truth. You will see the folly of following old traditions and not accepting the responsibility for your eternal souls."
One of the men said, "We have studied the Talmud all our lives. You cannot teach us anything we do not already know." I then asked the entire group, which book is more important. The Talmud or the Torah? If you are good Jews, why do you not keep the law as it is written in Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 7, "You shall have no other gods before me?" This is only one of the many commandments that Israelis do not keep. Every person is responsible for himself before the Lord. And Ezekiel 18:20 tells us that the soul who sin shall die.
Our fathers and rabbis cannot save us. But if you receive the Lord, you will be blessed rather than cursed.” At the end of our conversation, one said, “we never realized that those who believe in Jesus, follow the Bible so closely. This is the first time we have heard what you really believe.” I pray for them that the Lord will cause them to meditate on what they hear. That they will recognize the truth as it is written in his Word, and that they will open their hearts to him as their Savior and Messiah.
Chris Katulka: Everybody, thank you so much for joining us today. We want to create content that we know is enriching your lives and drawing you closer to the Lord. And a deeper understanding of his Word and program for Israel. You can reach us on a contact form at foiradio.org, and let us know how we're doing. We'd really appreciate hearing from you. And also for our podcast listeners on Apple, would you just stop for a moment and take the time to rate our program? Your comments and your ratings are going to take The Friends of Israel Today and expose our content to new listeners.
So if you believe Israel and the Jewish people matter, and you believe God has a plan and a program for his people, then please leave a comment for us so that others can benefit from the Friends of Israel Today. Hey, thanks so much for being with us. Steve Conover is our executive producer. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione, and our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold. And I'm Chris Katulka, your host and teacher.
Our mailing address is FOI Radio, PO box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey, 08099. Again, that's FOI Radio, PO box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Write in, let us know what you think. And one last quick reminder to visit us at foiradio.org. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
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Apples of Gold: It Is Hard For Us to Forsake the Old Ways
Zvi encountered Israelis that believed God would bless them just because they lived in Israel even though they did not believe in His Son. He asked them where they got their authority from: the Bible or books written by man. They accused him of trying to proselytize because he was a believer in Jesus. Because of the Jewish faith of their fathers, it was hard for them to believe in anything else. Hear how Zvi explained where his authority and hope came from.
The Friends of Israel Today theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
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