Catechism: Adam Again


Q10. How did God create man?

God created man, male and female, in His own image and in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, to rule over the other creatures.

Our family is benefiting from having daily Advent readings in anticipation of Christmas. We’re using The Dawn of Indestructible Joy by John Piper, which has been recommended by our church’s pastoral staff and is currently available as a free ebook from Crossway:

Here’s an excerpt (taken from the December 9 reading):

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened,
and the angels of God ascending and descending on
the Son of Man.
JOHN 1:51

Why is Jesus called the Son of Man in verse 51 and elsewhere in the Gospels? It has everything to do with Advent.

It’s not simply because he is human. It’s because the figure of a “son of man” in Daniel 7:13 is both human and far more than human. This was Jesus’s favorite designation for himself — Son of Man. It’s used over eighty times in the Gospels, and only Jesus uses it to refer to himself.
He got the title “Son of Man” from Daniel 7:13–14:

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. 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.

This is the language of kingship and glory and sovereignty (John 3:13; 5:27; 6:62). But it has a different ring than the titles Son of God and King of Israel. It sounds more lowly and ordinary. So when he used it, his claims to kingship and glory and sovereignty didn’t sound so overt. Only those who had ears to hear broke through to the exalted meaning of the term Son of Man when Jesus used it.


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