Angels and the Son of Man

Read: John 1:43-51

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. (v. 51)

In today’s reading, Jesus is speaking to his recently chosen disciples, who no doubt were, at best, confused about what he was talking about. First, they were confused because Jesus is describing a scene from heaven with the angels of God, not some imaginary whim, a scene in which he himself appears in the prophet Daniel’s vision (Dan. 7:13-14). He is describing this scene out of his own experience.

Second, Jesus uses a phrase that would have had deep meaning to the Jews: “Son of Man,” which is found in the book of Daniel: “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” (Dan. 7:13).

Jesus was claiming that Daniel’s prophecy about the Son of Man is about him. He was telling his disciples that he himself had stood in the heavenly realms before God. And he was promising that in following him, they would be welcomed before God too. This claim to divinity was shocking to the listeners of the day, yet his disciples still chose to follow.

Jesus’s claim should still be shocking today, but Jesus assures us: “truly, truly” he is the Son of Man. If you want to follow Jesus, the first step is accepting him.

As you pray, thank Jesus, the Son of Man, for the gift of salvation that promises eternity with him.

About the Author

Lou Bury is the pastor at Downers Grove Community Church in Illinois. He has the pleasure of serving the Lord alongside a congregation committed to being “the hands and feet of Jesus in the community.” He and his wife Judy have two adult children and two granddogs.

This entry is part 3 of 14 in the series Truly, Truly: Paying Attention to Jesus