The Glory of the Son of Man ~ 20220410 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~

04/10_Matthew/John; The Glory of the Son of Man Audio available at:

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Passion week; Jesus’ resolute journey to the cross. After his arrest under cover of night, Jesus was dragged before the high priest. Because he had done nothing wrong, the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false witnesses against him to have him put to death, but none of their testimonies agreed. Caiaphas finally became frustrated;

Matthew 26:62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus was quoting Daniel 7 and everyone knew it. We looked at Daniel 7 last week. Here is the passage; it is worth quoting in full.

Daniel 7:9 “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10 ​A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. 11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. 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.

YHWH God, the Ancient of Days, is seated on his flaming chariot throne in judgment, executing justice on the nations; and YHWH God the cloud rider, in human form, comes into the presence of the Ancient of Days and is given eternal dominion and glory and a kingdom and the nations are to worship him. When Jesus claims to be the Son of Man, he is saying much more than that he is human. He is saying that he is YHWH God the cloud rider in human form. Jesus was making direct reference to Daniel 7, and they got the message. They understood what he was claiming, they called it blasphemy, and it was this statement that the religious experts used as legal ground for their demand that Jesus must die.

The Glorious Divine Son of Man

Last time we looked at some of Jesus’ claims to be the Son of Man. He said things like:

Matthew 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

Matthew 12:6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. ...8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Matthew 25:31 ​“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, the Son of man will sit on his glorious throne, the Son of Man will judge the nations.

Matthew 24:27 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. ...30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The Son of Man is coming back, as the angels told his disciples after his ascension into heaven ‘and a cloud took him out of their sight’; “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts1:9-11). All the nations will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Only Half the Story

But that is only half the story. That is only half of what Jesus said about himself as the Son of Man. Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man more than any other name or title, about 82 times in the gospels, and about half of those point to his authority, his divine status, his equality with his Father, his glorious return, his glorious throne and his right to judge the nations.

But that is only half the story. Today I want to look at the other half of what Jesus said about himself as the divine Son of Man.

The Suffering Son of Man

To one would-be follower, Jesus said:

Matthew 8:20 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.”

How can this be? The divine Son of Man rides on the clouds and has his own glorious throne, but he has nowhere to lay his head? The Son of Man homeless?

In Matthew chapter 12, after declaring himself to be lord of the Sabbath, after healing a man with a withered hand in their synagogue on the Sabbath, after healing a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute, the scribes and the Pharisees requested to see a sign.

Matthew 12:39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

What kind of a sign is that? How can Jesus compare himself with the disobedient prophet on the run from God? What does it mean to be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth? Is the divine cloud riding Son of Man going to spend time in hell?

In Matthew 16, in response to Jesus’ question ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ Peter confessed that Jesus is ‘The Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus’ response? After affirming that Peter was divinely inspired with the correct answer,

Matthew 16:20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Peter and the disciples were beginning to correctly understand that Jesus’ claim to be the Son of Man was a claim to be the Christ, the promised Messiah, the Divine Son of the living God. But this is the very time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must suffer and be killed, and be raised from the dead. They were beginning to understand who he was, but this was only half the story. They could not connect that this all-glorious Divine Son of Man figure could possibly suffer. It is at this point that Peter took Jesus aside to rebuke him ‘This shall never happen to you.’ Jesus then told his disciples that anyone who would follow him must ‘deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’. He declared that ‘whoever loses his life for my sake will find it’, and he connects this with the glorious coming of the Son of Man to repay each person for what he has done. Suffering first, then glory.

In Matthew 17, Peter, James and John saw Jesus transfigured on the mountain, and heard the voice speaking from the bright cloud, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Matthew 17:9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

Mark records the response of the disciples:

Mark 9:10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean.

How can the Son of Man rise from the dead? Isn’t the Son of Man according to Daniel 7 given an eternal kingdom which shall not pass away? What can this ‘rising from the dead’ mean? Jesus continued:

Matthew 17:12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.”

Jesus is connecting Elijah with John who prepared the way for the coming of YHWH. Jesus’ cousin John had been imprisoned for speaking truth, and then beheaded because of a foolish oath given in response to a seductive dance routine. Just as John was not recognized for who he was, and was executed, ‘So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.’

Jesus gets even more explicit in verse 22:

Matthew 17:22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.

The Son of Man will be betrayed. YHWH the cloud rider will be given into the power of men. They will kill him, and he will be raised.

In Matthew 20, they are on the way up to Jerusalem.

Matthew 20:17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Jesus is preparing his disciples for what is about to happen. You can’t get much more specific than this; betrayed into the hands of the Jewish religious leaders, condemned to death by them, then delivered over to the Roman authorities, who will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and crucify him, and then he will be raised on the third day.

They didn’t get it. Look at the very next verse in Matthew 20:

Matthew 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”

They understood, at least to some extent, that this was the promised one who would receive the eternal kingdom from the Ancient of Days, and they were pursuing positions of prominence in the coming kingdom. Jesus’ statement that he was about to be betrayed, condemned, mocked, flogged and crucified seems to have flown right over their heads.

The Cup of Suffering

Matthew 20:22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” ….

Both Isaiah and Jeremiah talk about the cup of the wine of the wrath of God Almighty against the sins of the nations. This is the background to the image when in the garden Jesus asked

Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Revelation uses this cup of wrath imagery as well (14:10; 16:19). They apparently missed this too.

Matthew 20:22 ...They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

James was the first Apostle martyred. Tradition has it John was boiled in oil but didn’t die, so he was exiled to a small island.

To Give His Life as a Ransom

Matthew 20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here Jesus lays out the purpose of his mission. The coming of the Son of Man is not a receiving mission, but a giving mission; it is not a being served and worshiped mission, but a humbling himself to serve others mission; it is not a receiving the eternal kingdom mission but a laying down his own life mission. He did not come to pour out his just wrath in judgment, but to receive that wrath as a substitute, as a ransom for many. Jesus is the fully divine YHWH God come in the form of a man, who deserves the worship of all nations, who will be given an eternal kingdom, but not now, not yet, not this time. He will come again, but this time he came to suffer, he came to serve, to give his life as a ransom for many.

The Glory of a Seed

These two seemingly contrary veins, the suffering Son of Man, and the glorious Son of Man come together in John’s gospel. In John 12, on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was hailed as the King of Israel, the one who comes in the Name of YWHW. Jesus said

John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Here it is! Finally his hour has come! Even the Greeks are seeking Jesus, and now, at last, it is time for the Son of Man to be glorified.

John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

What kind of glory is Jesus seeking? The glory of a grain of wheat. A seed preserved up on the shelf is not very glorious. But when that grain experiences death, is pushed down into the earth, something powerful and amazing happens. The grain on the shelf seems dry and lifeless, but after it is buried, life bursts forth! Something glorious happens. Fruitfulness happens. Multiplication happens. This is the kind of glory Jesus is pursuing, the glory of death and resurrection.

Jesus understood full well what this meant. That is why his apprehension in the garden caused him to sweat as it were great drops of blood.

John 12:27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

This is the glory Jesus is pursuing, not the glory that Satan offered him if he would only worship him; no, Jesus is pursuing the glory of the seed. The glory of life out of death.

John 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

Now is the judgment of this world? Now the evil ruler of this world will be overthrown? Finally, the Son of Man will be exalted, glorified, conquer his enemies, and will bring justice to this broken and rebellious world. How?

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

How? How is Jesus exalted, lifted up? On the cross. How did Jesus judge the world and bring justice? By absorbing God’s just wrath toward my sin in his own body on the tree. How did he overthrow the evil one? By being crushed. By dying. By giving his life as a ransom for many. By paying my price in full.

After Judas left the last supper to betray him:

John 13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.

Glory comes not merely after suffering, but glory comes through suffering. Lift up your eyes to see the glory of the Son of Man hanging on a cross, bearing my sin and yours, plundering the enemy, setting the captives free.


2022.04.10 Sermon Notes

Matthew/John The Glory of the Son of Man

Jesus’ unmistakable claim to be YHWH God

Matthew 26:62-68; Daniel 7:9-14

The Sovereign Son of Man coming on the clouds

Matthew 9:6; 12:6-8; 16:27; 25:31-32; 24:27,30; Acts 1:9-11

The suffering Son of Man lifted up

Matthew 8:20; 12:39-40; 16:20-21; 17:9, 12, 22-23; 20:17-19

The cup of suffering

Matthew 20:20-23; Isaiah 51:17, 22; Jeremiah 25:15;

Revelation 14:10; 16:19

He came to give his life as a ransom

Matthew 20:24-28

The glory of the seed

John 12:23-24, 27-33; 13:31-32


Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~