The Son Of Man -- By: William S. Tyler

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 022:85 (Jan 1865)
Article: The Son Of Man
Author: William S. Tyler


The Son Of Man

William S. Tyler

There is something very remarkable about this name. Doubtless there is in it, also, some deep significance. It is the chosen, and, if we may so say, the favorite name of the Redeemer of mankind — the name by which he loves to designate himself, and by which he does call himself more frequently than any other. And yet, with the exception of a single instance, this name is never applied to him by any one but himself. The name occurs twenty-two times in the Gospel of Matthew, and, besides the parallel passages in the other Gospels, five times in Mark, twelve times in Luke, and eleven times in John—about eighty times in all, counting all the repetitions and parallel passages;1 and in every instance of its use in the Gospels, it occurs in discourses or remarks made by our Lord himself, and is applied exclusively to himself.

It is also found once in the Acts (7:56), and there — a solitary exception to the otherwise unvarying usage of the New Testament — the expression is put into the mouth of the Martyr Stephen, who, “being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God”; and (apparently because he saw him in human form, and manifestly full of human sympathy, standing as if he had risen up to sustain the first Christian martyr and to receive his spirit when he should resign it to his keeping), he said: “Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.”

This name does not appear in any of the Epistles. The

evangelists ordinarily call him by the simple name of Jesus, which, as explained by the angel at whose bidding the name was given to him at his birth, expresses his most characteristic work, as “The Saviour of his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The writers of the epistles usually call him the Lord, the Lord Jesus, or the Lord Jesus Christ, thus denoting him (as the evangelists also begin to call him after his resurrection) as their risen Lord, the anointed King of the spiritual Israel, and the divinely appointed Ruler as well as Saviour of men. He calls himself “the Son of Man” and “the Son of God” or simply “the Son,” thus signifying his peculiarly intimate and endearing relations to man on the one hand, and to God on the other. It is also a significant fact that, while neither name is absolutely peculiar to either of the Gospels, the Saviour calls himself “the Son of Man “more frequently ...

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