Notes compiled by Marty Zide and Steve McAtee
“Son of Man” was Jesus’ favorite self-designation for Himself. Deeply rooted in the Old Testament, it is a Messianic title used when the prophet Daniel saw one like a “Son of Man” approaching the Ancient of Days” (God the Father) and was given an eternal kingdom over which He will reign forever. This unique term has as its background the vision in Daniel 7 where it says the Son of Man was given ‘dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away’ (Dan. 7:13-14). It is interesting that this son of man came ‘with the clouds of heaven’ (Dan. 7:13). This passage clearly speaks of someone who had a heavenly origin and who was given eternal rule over the whole world. The clear implication is that the Son of Man is the Messiah, who is fully God.
JESUS CALLS HIMSELF THE SON OF MAN
Mark 2:5-11 - And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven. But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone? Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven; or to say, Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins He said to the paralytic, I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home. And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone.
Matt. 19:28 - And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matt. 20:28 - Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
THE FIRST & THE LAST
This name for Christ is intended to convey that He is the beginning and the end of all things. That is, He is before all things, both in time (He is eternal) and in position (He is sovereign).
Rev. 1:17-18 - When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Rev. 2:8 - And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life.
Rev. 22:13 - I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
This name is also used for God the Father in the Old Testament, proving that Jesus and the Father are one in essence. It points to the fact that Jesus is the Jehovah God as revealed in the Old Testament. After all, how many “firsts” and “lasts” can there be?
GOD THE FATHER CALLS HIMSELF THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Isa 44:6 - Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.
Isa. 48:12 - Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.