The phrase son of man occurs in 178 verses in the Bible. Sometimes son is written with an uppercase S and other times with a lowercase s.
When used with an uppercase S, the references are to Jesus, as seen in all four gospels (28 times in Matthew; 13 times in Mark; 25 times in Luke; and 12 times in John). It’s also written this way in Psalm 80:17, Daniel 7:13, and Acts 7:56, again implying Jesus.
Also, we can understand Son of man as a euphemism for Son of God, which occurs 41 times throughout the New Testament and is in all four Gospels, all referencing Jesus.
What’s really interesting is the use of son with a lowercase s. It’s used 93 times in the book of Ezekiel, starting with Ezekiel 2:1, as God’s pet name for his prophet. But God also uses this as a name for Daniel (Daniel 8:17).
So, how can the Son of man refer to Jesus, while son of man refer to people?
The Bride of Christ
Here are my thoughts: Jesus is the only son of God. We, as his church, are his bride. Therefore, through this spiritual marriage, we also become children of God, that is, sons of God, or to slide back into the euphemism, sons of man.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.