Every day one member of my family takes our dog Percy for a walk. We are surrounded by lovely countryside and there are lots of walks to choose from; so over the years we have developed a short hand way of referring to them. If I return from a walk and say that I have been ‘Under the A23’, or that we did ‘Big Swing’, ‘Short Vineyard’ or ‘Barky Dogs’, the rest of my family will know exactly where we have been. Of course for anyone outside our family the terms are meaningless.
Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man, and like the names we’ve given to our dog walks, it was a meaningless title unless you knew what it referred to. His Jewish listeners would have immediately picked up on a reference to the Old Testament book of Daniel in which one like a son of man is described as one who, “was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Either Jesus was getting above his station, or he knew exactly who he was. Not your average carpenter then!