8:20Son of Man. This title occurs only three times in the New Testament outside the Gospels (Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:13; 14:14). All of the many occurrences in the Gospels involve assertions made by Jesus about Himself and may be classified into three categories. “Son of Man” means “a human being,” especially in statements about what is typical of humanity generally. This use is similar to God’s calling Ezekiel “son of man” (Ezek. 2:1 note), or Paul’s reference to the human race as “the sons of men” (Eph. 3:5). Jesus also refers to Himself by this title when He predicts the suffering, death, and resurrection He accomplished for humanity (17:22, 23 note). Finally, it can refer to the apocalyptic “Son of Man” who appears at the Judgment of the end time (24:30; 26:64 note). This usage stems from Dan. 7:13, 14 where “one like a son of man” appears before the Ancient of Days and receives world dominion and worship. Jesus may have used “Son of Man” and avoided using “Messiah” because of popular conceptions that the Messiah would be a political and military leader.
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