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The verse in question is found in Luke 22:48, “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”  In preparation for answering this question I found it interesting to learn that the Lord Jesus rarely referred to Himself directly as the Son of God.  There are only three references and they are found exclusively in the gospel of John. The first is found in John 5:25, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” The second is in John 9:35-37, “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is He that talketh with thee.” The last reference is in John 11:4, “When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” In each of these passages faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is involved, so perhaps this is one reason why Jesus never referred to Himself as the Son of God to Judas.

Jesus spoke of Himself often as the “Son of man.” This phrase is found 70 times in the New Testament and 25 of them are found in the gospel of Luke. The four Gospel writers were inspired to focus on the Lord Jesus in four different ways.  Matthew especially presents Him as the “King of the Jews.” At the beginning of his gospel, the genealogy of Jesus Christ is traced back to David to prove that He was the Son of David and that He had a claim to the throne (Matthew 1:1-16).  Mark presents Him as the “Perfect Servant,” and thus we see, at the outset of his gospel, the Lord Jesus entering into His public ministry, with no mention of His birth or genealogy (Mark 1:1-15).  John clearly wrote of Him as the eternal “Son of God,” and so we read in John 1:14, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (as we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  It was given to Luke to present Him as the “Son of Man.”  The first two chapters of his gospel begin with the most detailed account of His birth and an account of Him at the age of 12. Chapter 2 closes with those remarkable words, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). How amazing to think that the One Who was the Son of God, and thus co-equal with God the Father and God the Spirit, would humble Himself by becoming a true man, and would need to “grow up” just as any other member of the human race. All this, and so much more, is involved in that wonderful title, the “Son of man.”

Let’s muse a little longer on the title “Son of man” and what it means. In Psalm 8:3-6 we read, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet.” These verses apply initially to the “first man,” Adam, who is here given the title “son of man.”  He was made in the image of God, after His likeness, and God made him to be the head of the first creation, blessing him with dominion over all things. But in time Adam sinned and the whole creation shared in the effects of his tragic fall. Adam failed to glorify God and he failed to be the man that God created him to be.

Now turn to Hebrews 2:6-9, “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour…” The Spirit of God takes the same scripture from Psalm 8 and applies them to the Lord Jesus! How can this apply to the Lord Jesus? Ah, because He is, according to 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47, the “last Adam” and the “second man.” Adam failed to be the man God intended him, but Christ is the Perfect Man, Who will never fail! From the manger to the cross He obeyed God in sinless perfection and glorified Him in everything He did and said. His crowning act of obedience was when He “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). That act, which brought supreme glory to God and the offer of salvation to man, resulted in God glorifying His Son, and thus we read, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

 What a day that will be when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords!  He will have dominion over all things as we read in Psalm 8, Psalm 72 and many other scriptures. And it will be as the “Son of man” that He takes the throne. Consider the following scriptures, “And I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed…And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Daniel 7:13, 14; Matthew 24:30).  When we meditate on the glories of the “Son of man,” is it any wonder that the Lord Jesus said to Judas, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”  (125.1)  (DO)