The Radical Paradox of the Son of Man

“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 nations and peoples 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 7:13,14

Did you know that Jesus never referred to Himself as the Christ? His disciples called Him that and so did other people, but the Lord, when He walked on earth, primarily referred to Himself as one thing — the Son of Man.

Many people believe that the reason Jesus called Himself the Son of Man is because He was referencing His humanity and His ability to relate to people; however, I believe that was only part of it. In Daniel 7, there is a famous passage in which the prophet refers to a son of man coming to establish authority and dominion over the kingdoms of the world. In the verses preceding that depiction, several nations were vividly described as beasts, having been overruled by men who violently took power from others, lorded it over them, defined what was good and evil in their own hearts, and then became like animals themselves. Jesus, then, stood in stark contrast to these worldly leaders who were constantly pursuing more wealth, more power, and more control. Where they were about holding on, He was about letting go. Yes, He was and is a God-man who rules the nations, but, paradoxically, He gains power by being a servant, which is exactly what He taught His disciples then and still teaches us today (Mark 9:35).

Friend, just as the Son of man came to serve, you are called to same honor. The world is ruled, not by beastly authority, but by those who get in the trenches and do the dirty work. In fact, when Jesus said to be a servant of all, He used the Greek word doulos, which described a slave of lowest position; what a seemingly shocking contradiction! Nevertheless, it is a law in the Kingdom of Heaven that if you want power, you serve, and Jesus was the ultimate example. As you rest in the sufficiency and authority of the Son of Man, you are free to let go of the need to prove yourself, because your Savior has already proven Himself, and He welcomes you to share in His glory!


Jesus, I choose to live in your radical paradox and embrace a life of influence that is gained through service.


How do you feel about being a slave of all? What might that look like in your life right now?

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