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Bible Q

Why did Jesus call himself the “son of man”?

Jesus often called himself the “son of man”.1 Two such occasions are recorded in Mat. 8:18-20 and Mark 14:61-62:

{18} Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. {19} And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” {20} And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Mat. 8:18-20)

{61} …the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”  (Mark 14:61-62)

When Jesus calls himself the “son of man”, he is making a connection between himself and the “son of man” phrases mentioned in the Old Testament, specifically, in the Book of Daniel.

In Dan. 7:13-14, the prophet Daniel sees a vision involving “one like a son of man”:

{13} “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. [14} And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Notice the strong connection between Dan. 7:13 and Jesus’ words in Mark 14:61-61.

By calling himself the “son of man”, Jesus was identifying himself as the fulfilment of the “one like a son of man” that Daniel saw in this prophetic vision.

Jesus would have known from Dan. 7:13-14 that (a) he would one day ascend to Heaven to be with God (the “Ancient of Days” in the vision), and that (b) God would give him a kingdom on the earth that would last for ever. (a) has already happened (Acts 1:9; Acts 7:54-60). We are waiting for Jesus to return (Acts 1:11) to set up his kingdom on the earth in fulfilment of (b).


1. In the Gospels, Jesus is referred to as the “son of man” 79 times (ESV. Some of the occasions are repeated between the Gospels; all of them are Jesus’ words referring to himself). “…’the Son of Man’ is by far the most frequent title that Jesus applies to himself” (Tom Gaston, “The Son of Man” in Christadelphian eJournal of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 1. No. 4. Oct 2007, p. 5).

7 Replies to “Why did Jesus call himself the “son of man”?”

  1. why does jesus call himself the son of man and not the son of god as i have been told in my many christian scolers

    • contrary to what many believe in the book of Joel 2:28 God says and i will pour out my spirit into all People, and your son and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams and young men will see visions. so yes they are still prophets on earth.
      have a blessed day

  2. Hi Anto,

    The BIble mentions the HOly SPirit thorught th eBible. First in Genesis 1:2. In verse one it talks about God, verse two; the Holy Spirit, then verse three…the light; which represents Jesus; the redeemer. So beautiful! In John Chapter 14(around verse 26), the Holy Spirit is mentioned as the comforter. In Ephesians 1:13-14 along with John 3 say that once we recieve the Holy Spirit, we are sealed and no one can seperate us from Christ. The devil will try so hard to do so, but he will fail, because greater is he in us then he that is out. 1 John 4:4. We must repent for our sins, because they are great. Acts 2:38 This is what the Holy Spirits job is for us….to show us the wrong in our heart and to transform us and change us into the image of Christ. Jesus died to give us an example like it says in 1 Peter 2:21. Trust him, it may seem overwhelming, but know that you are Loved by the CREAOR OR THE WORLD!!! can you believe that he sent his only and only son to die on the cross for us!!! Jesus was the last more is needed, he was the ultimate one. Hebrews 9:26–> powerful verse..try to understand it with the mind of CHrist. 🙂 1 Corinthians 2:16. So no more prophets are needed, we must be careful because the devil walks around like a roaring lion. He wil try and deceive us into thinking that Jesus is not the son of God. 1 Peter 5:7-8.

    Ask the Lord for his spririt, and he will change your life. Your desires will change slowly and the empty spot that is within you will be filled, because that belongs to the Holy Spirit. He loves you and wants you to follow him, because that way leads to eternal life…wow! 🙂 Christ is awesome. Rest in his love and get ready to receive peace and love in your heart.
    He saved me almost two years ago. I’m 20 now and I’ve never had so much joy in my heart. He blesses us so much though we are so unworthy. Will be praying for you walk with him. Take care. Hope to see you in heaven one day!! 🙂

    Psalms 63,91

  3. In the book of John, first chapter it clearly states that in the beginning was the Word (capital W) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2) He was with God in the beginning. The Word refers to Jesus. God did not create Him. He is from God, which is why He was put to death, for making Himself equal to God. He started the Great Commission to wake humans up spiritually and to teach us about who He is. Jesus was fully human while being fully holy while He was on earth. Human being of the birth of a human, Mary. Holy being the Word, God. So many people still do not understand this. Hope this helps. God bless, Deaconess Barb. Williams.