As a rule, no one is offended if you speak glowingly of Jesus Christ. That changes, though, when you point out that He is the only way to be forgiven, that He is the only way to be made good enough to live eternally with a holy God. Christianity teaches this. It teaches that Jesus is much more than a good, religious teacher.
Here is one way Jesus pictured how much He was worth: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45–46). Those of us who know Him know the truth of His value.
Another way Jesus highlighted His great value is by calling Himself “The Son of Man.”
Not only did Jesus call Himself “The Son of Man”, but that was His favorite way of referring to Himself. We know that because that designation is recorded 84 times in the four Gospels! That is far more than any of His other titles.
Many people have concluded that Jesus used that term because He was humbly pointing to His humanity. Let me show you that nothing could be further from the truth.
The Jews knew that the title “The Son of Man” was a clear reference to Daniel’s vision in Chapter 7 of his book: “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13–14).
What it meant to be “The Son of Man” was not lost on Israel’s religious leaders. They knew that “The Son of Man” was the divine Messiah. Notice how they reacted when Jesus called Himself “The Son of Man” in Matthew, Chapter 26. When He was on trial before the Jewish High Priest, Jesus said, “… ‘hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven’ You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death!’” (Matthew 26:64–66).
In this way, by using this title, Jesus declared Himself to be the eternal, all-powerful Messiah. That truth was extremely encouraging to His followers. Why? Allow me to share just six examples of why we should rejoice that Jesus is “The Son of Man”.
- “The Son of Man” came to earth to serve humanity by paying for their sins. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
- “The Son of Man” existed in heaven before He came to earth. “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man” (John 3:13).
- “The Son of Man” has the authority to forgive sins. “…the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” (Matthew 9:6).
- “The Son of Man” is the only source of eternal life. “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:53–54).
- “The Son of Man” who rose from the dead is coming back to earth in all His glory. “… see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27).
- “The Son of Man” is the judge of all mankind. “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.” (John 5:26–27).
Jesus, and only Jesus, is that “one pearl of great value.” Is that how you are treating Him? Is Jesus precious to you like a priceless pearl? A true follower of Jesus believes He is worth whatever it takes to follow Him. May we be those who take up our crosses daily and follow “The Son of Man.”