Christ’s linking the Son of man with the forgiveness of sins (Mk 2:5-10) and with the coming judgment (“He has given him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man” Jn 5:27) greatly enhances the importance of the Son of man, since judgment is attributed to Him as if He is greater than it. It is given to Him because He is the Son of man, or, as we say, because He is the Son of God, or because He is God. Here it is Christ’s direct intention to make the glory and power He had before His incarnation just as effective in His incarnate state. It is as if He is saying repeatedly that the Son of man is the Son of God who has become a new Adam with all the powers of the Son of God.
Christ also paints a picture of the Son of man full of light unequaled by any creature, when He speaks of His coming as the Son of man who would light up the heavens from one horizon to the other as by the presence of God Himself: “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man … and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Mt 24:27, 30).
Here Christ is eager to awaken our hearts to the fact that the body that He took from our humanity will not be separated from Him when He is risen for ever at the height of his glory and power. The Son of man is Christ manifesting His divinity in His humanity. His glory and authority and power are not separate from His humanity. Rather His humanity makes it possible for us to look upon Him and see Him perfectly and know Him and draw close to and even participate in His divinity.
Credit and Attribution
Excerpt from The Son of Man: The Title Christ Loved by Father Matta El Maskeen.
Father Matthew the Poor is Spiritual Father of the Monastery of St. Macarius, Wadi el-Natroun, Egypt. This article was originally published by the St. Mark Monthly Review, a journal published by the monastery, and is reprinted here with express permission from both Fr. Matthew the Poor and St. Mark’s Monthly Review.