The names of Jesus in the book of Revelation – Part 10

Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

This humble Son of Man is no ordinary person, however. He claims authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10) and He assumes lordship over the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8).
Another aspect of the “Son of Man” concept emerges in John. While he uses the term sparingly, he blends the elements of the first three Gospels together in a beautiful way. The ascending/descending theme of the Son of Man is John’s primary emphasis. There is a constant interplay between humiliation and exaltation of the Son of Man in John.

The Son of Man, Who descended from heaven, is the same One Who is now on earth (John 3:13). He was to be lifted up on a cross (the ultimate humiliation) so that He might be exalted (3:14). He is the Bread that came down out of heaven but Who ascended back to heaven, when His work was completed (6:62). One must accept the humanity of the Son of Man to find true life (6:53), but this one is also Son of God Who came from above and Who links heaven to earth (1:51). Even Judas’ betrayal of Him (13:32) served the purpose that
He might be glorified. In the Gospels, but especially in John, “Son of Man” means humanity and humiliation, but “Son of Man” also means exaltation and glory.

In the Rest of the New Testament Outside the Gospels, the title “Son of Man” is found only four times. In Acts 7:56, Stephen saw the Son of Man standing in heaven beside God’s throne to receive Him after his stoning. Hebrews 2:6 quotes Ps. 8, a passage that originally referred to mankind in general. The writer of Hebrews, however, used it to ascribe uniqueness to Jesus as the perfect representative of humanity. Revelation 1: 13 and 14: 14 follow the Dan. 7 imagery of the Son of Man as exalted Judge. The title is noticeably absent from Paul’s writings, but many Bible students have suggested that Paul’s idea of Christ as the heavenly man or second Adam can be related to the “Son of Man” concept. Paul’s theology certainly built on the reality of Christ’s sacrificial work as the God/man, as 1 Cor. 15:3-7 clearly shows.

Note that Jesus is still called “Son of Man” in heaven after His death and resurrection (Rev 1:13,14). This “like the Son of Man” is Jesus Himself. The title Son of Man occurs many times in the New Testament in reference to Jesus as the Messiah. John recognised Jesus because he lived with him for three years and had seen Him both as the Galilean preacher and as the glorified Son of God at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). Here Jesus appears as the mighty Son of Man. His white hair indicates His wisdom and divine nature (see also Daniel 7:9); his blazing eyes symbolise judges of all evil; the golden band around his chest reveals Him as the High Priest Who goes into God’s presence to obtain forgiveness of sin for those who have believed in Him.

Conclusion The Son of God became the Son of Man that people who were sons of men might be made sons of God. Jesus became one of us, yet He was distinct from us. Only Jesus is Son of Man and Son of God united in one person. In Matt. 16: 13-17 Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is? Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
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Mercy Olumide

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