Life & Teachings of Jesus
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
April 9, 2002
"Jesus as the Son of Man"
I. What is the Issue?
A. Is the term a formal title
B. Is it a self-designation, an idiom for "I"?
C. Is it an apocalyptic figure coming in the clouds?
D. Is it merely a generic human being?
E. Is it a designation for Jesus as representative of humanity?
F. Is it all of these and more?
II. Use of the Term in the NT
A. Only by Jesus, except Stephen's vision in Acts
B. References to future Son of Man only made in third person
C. But Jesus uses first person to speak of himself
D. Matt 16:13
E. Some argue that apocalyptic sayings were created by post-resurrection
it be a Formal Title?
A. Problem: why didn't anyone else besides Jesus ever refer to him as Son of Man if it were a title?
supports its authenticity
the first to use apocalyptic Son of Man
B. Mark 13:26
C. Influence from Daniel 7:13-14
A. Mark 2:27-28
B. Q/Luke 12:10 (but see Mark 3:28)
C. Matt 16:13
V. Use as Apocalyptic Title
A. Matt 13:41
B. Mark 13:26
C. Luke 9:26 (can be interpreted as two different figures or as one referring to himself in the future - neither is provable)
VI. Bottom Line - What does each Gospel writer think about the Reign of God?
A. Is it apocalyptic/cataclysmic or merely eschatological
B. Answer may be - different authors show different Christologies
1. Q - little apocalyptic concern
2. Mark - strongly apocalyptic/cataclysmic Christology
VII. Why did Jesus even use the term if it is so ambiguous?
A. Ambiguity fit his modus operandi
(Jesus was often ambiguous)
B. Possible Meanings
1. Idiom for "I"
for all humanity
for generic humanity
bringer of salvation