Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 3 Study # 6
May 20, 2007
24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
1901 ASV Translation:
24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house.
25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God.
- I. The "Son of Man" Terminology.
- A. As a phrase, Ezekiel has this terminology 93 times (obviously a major thesis) out of the 108 times it is found in the AV translation of the Old Testament On the other hand, Daniel uses it twice. The problem is that the English translation is misleading. The majority phrase in the Old Testament is "ben Adam", but in the one case in Daniel where the One is the vision is described as a "son of man", it is "bar Enosh" (Daniel 7:13). The word "bar" is used only seven times in the Old Testament and is called an Aramaic term by Strong's Concordance. Daniel uses it four times in the "Aramaic" section of his book. The word "Enosh" used by Daniel is also "Aramaic" and is used by Daniel 17 of the 19 times it is found in the Old Testament The other two are used by Ezra in the context of writings involving a gentile king.
- 1. The basic sense of the phrase involves identifying the individual as the "offspring" of "man". As a "son" of "Adam", the perception is that of the offspring of a human being made out of the dust of the ground. As a "son" of "Enosh", the perception is that of the offspring of a human being who is "weak" for some reason.
- 2. The question of why Daniel would identify the One in his vision as a "son of weak man" is an interesting issue that Girdlestone may have touched with his claim that it may be being used like the idea in Revelation 5:6 where the Christ is identified as a "lamb slain". The phrase "son of Enosh" is rare in the Old Testament (Ezekiel is called that three times in his book, but otherwise, there may only be one other time when anyone is called a "son of Enosh").
- B. Luke's references are enlightening. He uses the phrase 27 times in Luke, but only once in Acts (Stephen's heavenly vision while being stoned: Acts 7:56).
- 1. In 5:24 Jesus claims the "Son of Man" has the authority to forgive sins on the earth.
- 2. In 6:5 He claims the "Son of Man" is "Lord of the Sabbath".
- 3. In 9:22 He says the "Son of Man" is to be rejected, slain, and raised the third day.
- 4. In 9:26 He says the "Son of Man" is coming in His glory.
- 5. In 12:40 He says the "Son of Man" will come when no one expects Him.
- 6. In 17:24 He says the "Son of Man" will be like lightning in His day.
- 7. There are multiple references to the "Son of Man" as the One coming at the end of the Great Tribulation to be the King of God's Kingdom.
- C. I conclude, then, that the "Son of Man" terminology fits the Daniel 7:13-14 thesis and that Jesus deliberately used it with that focus in mind. This certainly fits Luke's thesis that Jesus is the Kinsman-Redeemer in that Jesus was made like unto weak man without the inherent weakness.
- II. The Deliberate Association of the Claim and the Power.
- A. Jesus said that one could "know" Jesus' identity from His powerful action.
- 1. The word for "know" is most generally used when there is little "denial" of the thing known: the word indicates a fairly high level of both reason and the legitimacy of the conclusion.
- 2. There is little doubt, when one considers the overall record of Scripture, that there is a certain legitimacy to tying "miraculous power" to the identification of "God". Even in Daniel, the king is recorded as proudly asking "Who is that god that shall deliver you out of my hands?" (Daniel 3:15).
- 3. However, it is, nonetheless, true that the demonstration of power is not an "absolute" proof, as we have seen in Revelation 13:13 compared with 20:9. It is also true that the disciples did not grasp the "fire from heaven" issue properly, as seen in Luke 9:54-56.
- a. Because Paul taught in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 that God would send a potent delusion upon those who despise the Truth, we have reason to think that the "delusion" is the argument that being able to call fire down from heaven means a legitimate connection to the True God.
- b. Because the religious leadership resorted to the accusation that Jesus was doing His works as an agent of Satan (Luke 11:15), we know that the argument from power has never been "iron-clad". On the other hand, because Jesus said, "If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him" (John 10:37-38), there has to be some level of legitimacy to the Power leads to God thesis. The issue here has to have something to do with the nature of the "works". In the John 10 context, Jesus had asked, "For which of those works [the good works that I have shown you] do ye stone me?". They answered that it was not the "works", but the "words" that came with the works. And, there is some legitimacy to the fact that men cannot allow works to be the final determining factor since the words of doctrine are far more crucial.
- B. Jesus could not have claimed they could have sure knowledge unless it was true. At the root, the impact of the works has to be the determining factor. Jesus' words to His own disciples in the Luke 9 text indicate a "difference" in the driving "spirit" behind the works.