For some time I have been reflecting on Psalm 51. This is David's Psalm to the Lord after Nathan rebuked him for killing Uriah the Hittite and taking his wife, Bathsheba, as his own. Easily the most universally recognizable piece from Psalm 51 is verse 10, but I'd prefer to focus on another, verses 3-4.
Hebrew poetry often uses comparison and contrasting to express an idea, and the stark difference between my God and myself was not lost on me this morning as I read Psalm 8.
Sure, the sentiment is there: to give so sacrificially that you feel the weight of your giving in your finances. The man behind the pulpit invariably meant no wrong by the comment; after all, isn't the gospel message rooted in the historical fact that a man loved the world so much that he died so that it might live (John 3:16)?
With great consistency, Yahweh made it painfully obvious to Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, and the present day reader, that the reason for which he was freeing his people was that they might serve him, not that they might live according to their own whims and earthly pleasures.
The SM term was scarcely used outside of the gospels, especially to refer to Jesus, and it is interesting to note that Paul never used the term, though some have connected his Second Adam theology with the SM. Although there are arguably four occurrences of SM outside of the Gospels (Acts 7:56; Hebrews 2:6; Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14) , we will limit the focus of our study to Acts 7:56 and the Revelation passages, excluding the Hebrews instance, as it is a citation from the Old Testament (Psalm 8).
Part of living in a fallen world is the reality that sin has corrupted every nature of our lives on earth. The most obvious - and deeply felt - result of this corruption shared by all people is suffering. We suffer from a variety of causes: relational schisms; environmental catastrophes; disease; and more. The list producing our suffering goes on and on, all because of The Fall.
As the goal of John’s gospel is to prove that Jesus was exactly who he said he was (i.e., the Messiah promised in the Old Testament Scriptures), it is quite fitting that John wasted no time in introducing Jesus as the SM; he introduced the SM nomenclature in his opening chapter, with more haste than any of the Synoptics.
Part two of our study, the Son of Man in the Synoptic Gospels will cover by far the vast majority of uses of the term “SM” in the New Testament. Depending on whose count you rely, the Greek phrase “SM” (ὁ ὑιος του ανθρώπου) is used between 86 and 90 times in the Greek New Testament. 95% of uses occur in the gospels, and 84% of gospel appearances are in the Synoptics. Furthermore, it is striking that 100% of all uses are spoken by Jesus himself.
I often hear Christians admit that they encounter the poor with consistent frequency. Yet, alarmingly, they do not obey Jesus' command. Why is this? I've heard a wide array of rationales that almost always find a root in either the sloth or addiction problems of the one asking for help. But what is the common denominator in these responses?
Their actions have produced this outcome.
Before we dive too deeply into the details of our Son of Man in the New Testament study, it is important to outline a few key points so you know both where we have been and where we are heading. First, what does the term Son of Man mean?
Perhaps you think too much of your English Bible translation, assuming it is the only correct way to read the Bible in English. Perhaps you don't think about it at all, carrying around a generic Bible app on your phone without even knowing what translation it is.
Despite where you might fall on the spectrum, you have probably wondered at some point, "What is the best translation?" If you're curious to find out, keep reading.