What did Jesus Mean by “Son of Man”?

During his earthly ministry, Jesus’ favorite self-designation was “Son of Man.”  But what exactly did Jesus mean by this? Robert Peterson helps answer this question by delving into the OT background:

“son of man” in the Old Testament usually refers to humanity in its frailty and mortality (e.g., Ps. 8:4 and more than ninety times in Ezekiel to refer to the prophet). But only God rides on a cloud in the Old Testament (Ps. 68:4; 104:3; Isa. 19:1; Nah. 1:3).  The “son of man” is thus both human and divine.

In this quote Peterson is reflecting on Daniel 7:13-14 when the prophet sees the “son of man” coming “with the clouds of heaven.”  In this OT picture of Christ we see already a glimpse of divinity and humanity.  A great reminder that even–especially–our NT Christology is rooted in the OT.

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