Son of Man

December 24, 2023 Download: Audio

Mark 2:28, Daniel 7:13-14

As we’ve looked at the gospel of Mark this advent season we’ve noticed that Jesus identifies himself as the Son of man. For example, in Mark 2:28, which we looked at this morning, Jesus says, “So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

It’s a title we don’t give a lot of attention as it tends to get overshadowed by the claim Jesus is making about the Sabbath. He is referring to himself as he has just healed a man on the Sabbath and overridden the Pharisee’s traditions they had tied to the Sabbath. How could he do that if he is not Lord of it? That’s the main point. And the Sabbath is meant for healing and wholeness, as we see again by the healing miracle Jesus performs. It’s a welcoming idea. We think of Jesus statement in Mt 11.28

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

It’s soothing. This rest Jesus points to is ultimately found in eternity, when the new heavens and new earth are ushered in. They refer to a time when the universe has been redeemed and the curse lifted. The writer of Hebrews explains in chapter 4 verse 9,

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

He ties this with our entrance into the true Promised Land. It reminds us of the compassion of Jesus; of the healing and blessing he brings.

But how do we get there? This is where that phrase “son of man” is helpful. It is an important title that Jesus takes for himself. We find it in this passage of Daniel 7.13-14

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel sees this “son of man” on the clouds of heaven. This should be familiar language to us. In the book of Acts, when Jesus ascended to heaven he disappeared into the clouds and the angels tell his disciples who are watching that he will return the same way, that is, on the clouds. So what does it mean? If Daniel is our guide, it means that Jesus is coming to bring an end to the other kingdoms found in this vision and begin his reign over a kingdom that will never pass away. It isn’t necessarily a peaceful image, but rather an image of a conquering king.