The blind man, healed by Jesus (John 9) gave an inquisitive reply, “Lord, who is He,” to the question by Jesus, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” We should ask, “Who is this Son of Man?”
The phrase “Son of Man” is used more than 40 times (in approximately 12 verses) in the Gospel of John and another 280 times (in approximately 71 verses) in the other three gospels. The identity of this “Son of Man” is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of a carpenter. Even though He was crucified, He was raised from the dead to never die again. But there is more to this man, than just His death, burial and resurrection.
Before He descended from heaven (3:13), He was eternal. He was in the “form of God” and on an “equality with God” (Philippians 2:6). But, He gave up His deity status to come to earth and take on “the likeness of men” so that He might learn obedience and what it was like to die.
This Son of Man was the one who was “lifted up” so that those who will believe in Him might have eternal life (3:14, 15). The current descendants of those who wandered in the wilderness should have been able to see the comparison between Jesus and the bronze serpent that was put on a pole. They did not, but “lifted up” Jesus on the cross (8:28). After His resurrection and ascension He sat down at the right hand of God in heaven.
While on this earth He had the authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:10). He stated He was given all authority by His Father. He was given authority to execute judgement (5:27).
This Son of Man did not come to earth to “destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:56). His mission was not to bring judgment upon mankind, but rather to tell them what they needed to know about God and how they could escape the punishment for their sins.
This Son of Man does not know when this world will come to an end, but He knows that one day it will end. Then will occur a final judgement. This Son of Man will testify to the God of heaven about those who confessed Him on this earth and those who did not (Mark 8:38).
Luke (18:8) asks the question, “Will the Son of Man find faith upon the earth when He returns?” The answer will be yes from those who are “on the alert” for His coming. If we are living when He returns, the answer will be yes, if we are still faithfully living God’s way.
Carlton G. McPeak is an evangelist working in the Florida Gateway region. All Scriptural quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Holman Bible Publishers, unless otherwise stated. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.