By Fr. Felix (African Times Guest Writer)
When Peter spoilt his confession of faith in
Jesus as the Messiah and son of God by trying
to turn Jesus away from the suffering of the
cross, he received no congratulations but only a
This is the first of three times when Jesus
clearly predicts his suffering and the disciples
cannot stomach the message. Each time Jesus
repeats the message for them: they too must
share his suffering .
It is also a passage crucial for the
understanding of Jesus’ chosen title, ‘son of
man’. This is the only expression which Jesus
will use of himself, and he alone uses it in the
Literally it means ‘human being’, and is so used
repeatedly by the interpreting angel to the
prophet Ezekiel 4.1; 5.1; 7.1. In Aramaic usage
at the time of Jesus (or soon afterwards) it is
used as a way people gently refer to
themselves, meaning ‘I’ but not wanting to draw
attention to themselves.
In English the same usage appears with ‘one’:
‘one finds that X’ means ‘I have found that X, but
I don’t want to boast about it’. But on Jesus’ lips
has it a further meaning, a reference to the
illustrious son of man in Daniel 7.13, who
receives all power from God?
There are three occasions when such a link
seems indicated, one of which is here, ‘the son
of man is going to come in the glory of his
Father with his angels’.
Another is ‘they will see the son of man coming
on the clouds of heaven with great
glory’ (Matthew 24.30), and the third is the
declaration of Jesus before the High Priest
On these occasions Jesus at least hints that he
is the son of man prophesied by Daniel who
comes to the One of Great Age and receives
from him all power and authority .