The Gospel Apocalypse
To grasp the meaning of Jesus’ unique self-identification, “the Son of Man,” we should begin, I think, with those dominical sayings that most clearly evoke the vision of “a son of man” in Daniel 7. These sayings, which form significant blocks in the Gospels, generally have to do with the Last Judgment and the end of history.
The clearest and most dramatic example is found in the scene of Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin: “Again the high priest asked him, saying to him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?’ Jesus said, ‘I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’” (Mark 14:61–62). It is worth observing that this solemn word—and warning!—was Jesus’ final declaration to the leaders of Judaism. He had nothing further to tell them.
The title, “the Son of Man,” first referred, then, to Jesus’ claim to be the final arbiter of history. Because this term was so prominent in apocalyptic expectations among the Jews at the time, none of Jesus’ hearers failed to appreciate the significance of this declaration.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives