Matthew 25:31, the Son of Man enthroned

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

//One of the most fascinating and mysterious characters in Jewish lore is the Son of Man. That is, the anticipated Messiah, seen primarily (in this messianic role) in the book of Daniel and non-canonical books like 1 Enoch. Although Isaiah 42:8 expressly denies that God will ever share his throne, the book of Daniel, chapter 7, describes a “Son of Man” sharing God’s ruling authority. Daniel saw this in a dream:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Daniel, the Bible says, was very disturbed about this dream. And rightly so: it’s blasphemous to imagine worshipping anyone but God! This image, however, of a “son of man” riding the clouds up from the earth to heaven, and being granted authority to rule by God himself, carries over into the New Testament. See today’s verse in Matthew, and especially the 4th and 5th chapters of Revelation.

What are we to make of this? The Bible states clearly that God alone is sovereign, but then it says God turns over his authority to the Son of Man. The Christian movement pieced the puzzle together this way: The Son of Man becomes the Son of God … indeed, he becomes God himself, God incarnate. Our monotheism survives intact, and our heavenly ruler remains the one we trust.

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