Son of Man

September 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Ezekiel | 8 Comments
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In Ezekiel Chapter 12 the prophet Ezekiel begins to “act out” one of the prophecies the Lord had given him. At times Ezekiel was called to perform these dramatic “silent sermons.” On this occasion he played the part of someone sneaking out of a city under siege.

First, he sneaked out with a small amount of “stuff:” things that someone escaping would need for traveling. Then, greedily, instead of just escaping, he came back after dark, dug a hole in the wall of the house, and got more “stuff:” more material possessions. This time, when he came out again, he made a point to do it in a way so that everyone could see he had his face covered and his eyes fixed on the ground. God gave him a message to go along with this little dramatic skit.

There are times when God may call us to do something that will look strange to the people who are watching us. When He does, it is important for us to obey, but we also need to be prepared and give an answer or an explanation if some asks what we’re doing. Why do you dress the way you dress? Why do you carry that Bible around with you?

And in the morning came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou? Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity.

Ezekiel 12:8-11 (emphasis added)

God allowed Ezekiel to preach about the scene he had been performing. There are different views among Bible scholars about why God referred to Ezekiel by the title, “Son of man.” One view is that “son of man” was a way of contrasting Ezekiel’s humanity with God’s deity. Daniel was also called “Son of Man,” and it was Jesus’s Own favorite title for Himself. (See Luke 19:10; Matthew 8:20.) Some scholars think it is an eschatological title (that it has end times significance). Many times the title “Son of God” is contrasted with “Son of Man” in reference to Jesus’s role in the Kingdom of God, or as a physical manifestation of the Word. The Gospel of John starts off by saying that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and goes on to tell us that the Word was made flesh. John Chapter 5 talks about Jesus as the Son of God coming to give life, and the Son of man having the authority – as the Word made manifest – to execute judgment.

Here is what I believe the primary meaning of the title “Son of Man” is in Ezekiel: It is a title that shows that “men” (human beings) are creatures made to be used by One greater than them. In the Bible, a “son” is “of the father.” So Ezekiel, while he is merely the son of a human man, is actually being used by God the Father. It is a title that reminds us that Jesus was the ultimate example of a Man allowing God to use Him. Remember, Jesus laid down His glory, not His Deity, in His incarnation. But it also reminds us that, as sons and daughters of men ourselves, we can also be used by One greater than us. As human beings, we can be used by our own flesh. We can be used by Satan. Or we can be used by God. We are not called “Sons of man” by God as our official title, but, even as children of mortal men, we can be representatives of God to men, and God can use us to influence other men.


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