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Who is Jesus?


For sure, we can say by the way we do history, Jesus was a traveling preacher, who did signs of wonders and healings, had a following of believers, and was killed by the Romans as one seeking to rival the Emperor's claim of lordship. But who did Jesus think he was?

Jesus commonly referred to himself as the "Son of Man." At first glance, the title can be seen as someone who is just a human. There are places in the scriptures where this is true. However, there is a clear understanding on Jesus' part that he understood there to be a connection of "Son of Man," to the Daneil 7 figure. The "Son of Man" figure is ...

-slain

-raised to a position of power next to God

-includes a kingdom that is never-ending and has authority over all people

-and somehow in the destroys the brutal and oppressive powers of evil

Jesus saw his ministry living out the Daniel 7 "Son of Man" story out. He also sees himself as the messianic king. Specifically, the two identities of the messiah and Son of Man come crashing together at Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin. "Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Messiah, the Son fo the Blessed One?' 'I am,' said Jesus, 'And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."' ( Mark 14:61 and 62) The High Priest asks Jesus if he is the coming anointed one, which is debated during the time as meaning king or high priest. I believe the High Priest is leaning into the king idea because of the follow-up statement about the sonship of the blessed one. Kings, specifically David and his line, were viewed as Son's of God. (2 Samuel 7:12-14) Jesus answers in an affirmative but adds the Daniel 7 figure reference. Jesus is saying to the High Priest what is happening right now is the beginning of how the Son of Man takes his throne.

We should pause and note that Jesus also understands the messianic king in a unique way. Many in his time saw the promised king coming in and kicking out all the "bad people." Allowing Israel to be ruled once again by a king from their own people and God. The coming king would be a conquering warrior king. Jesus, however, throughout his ministry, has been seeking to offer a new perspective that would reveal the messianic king to be one of a suffering servant as understood through Isaiah. (See suffering servant songs in Isaiah, specifically 52:7-53:12.)

Jesus understands himself to be the messianic king from the line of David. Jesus identified as a suffering servant king that was also the Son of Man from Daniel. A true human much like Adam, who would finally live into the call and purpose of humans to rule and behalf of God over creation.

Who was Jesus? Jesus identified as the Son of Man, who was a suffering David King, long-promised by God and one that had ultimate authority over all the nations forever.

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