Painting “Son of Man” by Magritte (1964).
Why Did Jesus often refer to himself as the “Son of Man?”
From the Complete Jewish Bible, Mark 14:61-62:
But he remained silent and made no reply. Again the cohen hagadol questioned him: “Are you the Mashiach, Ben-HaM’vorakh?” “I AM,” answered Yeshua. “Moreover, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Here the Jewish/Hebrew words are translated as follows:
“cohen hagadol” is the high priest
“Mashiach” is Messiah in the Hebrew, Christ in the Greek
“BenHaM’vorakh” is “Son of the Blessed
“Yeshuah” is Jesus in the Hebrew.
“HaG’vurah” is Hebrew word for “Power” as that word is translated from the Greek, likely used by the Scribes as a euphemism for the sacred name of God.
Here is the same passage from the more familiar gentile English translation, though less authentic:
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Thus, Jesus announces he is the fulfillment of scripture, using the term the “Son of Man” which the prophet Daniel used in his prophesy of Messiah:
“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.
In the Gospels, Jesus refers to himself as Son of Man more than any other title.
For a discussion of the use of Christian symbols in modern art, as Magritte did in the painting above, and blasphemy, Click here for my 2008 post, The Twenty-Million Dollar Golden Calf.