February 10, 2015

Son of Man

Matthew 8:18-22

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

—  Matthew 8:20

In today's reading we find the first use of the title "Son of Man" in the New Testament. This is Jesus' favorite title for himself. (He uses it 81 times in the gospel accounts of his life and ministry.)

Why does Jesus use this title? By calling himself the Son of Man, Jesus identifies with each of us: he is like us in all of our humanity, except that he is without sin. This title also identifies Jesus as chosen by God to represent humanity. In other words, this title points to Jesus' humanity—as the Son of Man who is also the Son of God, only he can carry out the task God has given him to stand in our place.

In today's verses we also see the burden of the Son of Man. Though he is God himself, Lord of the heavens and the earth—more powerful than all other powers—Jesus humbles himself. He doesn't even have a place to call his own; no place to lay his head on a pillow to sleep, one of life's most basic needs. In Jesus' humility, we witness his profound commitment to the will of the Father as well as his commitment to us.

Surely such humility, commitment, and love demand our all. What will you do for the Son of Man today?

Lord Jesus, you have given your all for us. Help us by your Spirit’s power to give our all for you. We ask this not because we are worthy but because of your love for us. In your precious name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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