WHAT DOES “THE SON OF MAN” MEAN?


Postmillennial Worldview

PMW 2018-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus repeatedly refers to himself as “the son of man” (Matt. 8:20; 9:6; 10:23; 11:19; 12:8; etc.). But what does this self-designation mean? How is it used in the Gospels?

As we consider this phrase in the Gospels, we must keep three important issues in mind: (1) Jesus is the only one who ever uses this phrase. Never do his disciples, the Jews, or anyone else mention it. (2) The phrase is always used with the definite article: “the son of man” (3) In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus himself does not even begin using it until Matt. 8:20. Each of these points is significant.

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