Who is the Son of Man? Jesus or Us?

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 as God’s pet name for his prophet. But God also uses this as a name for Daniel (Daniel 8:17).

Three other mentions are in Hebrews 2:6, Revelation 1:13, and Revelation 14:14, which somewhat seems to straddle these two understandings of the phrase.

So, how can the Son of man refer to Jesus, while son of man refer to people?

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.

[Discover more about the Bible at A Bible A Day.com: Bible FAQs, Bible Dictionary, Books of the Bible Overview, and Bible Reading Plans.]

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  • Roxanne Fawley Posted December 12, 2013 12:43 pm

    The son of man being all lower case letters implies to me it is not referring to Jesus, while Son of man has a capital S, signifying Jesus. It is for this very reason I grieve the trend to no longer capitalize him and he when referring to God. It always helps me know when someone is talking about Him.

    • peterdblog Posted December 12, 2013 1:22 pm

      That certainly does make for better clarity.

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