The “one like a Son of Man” from Daniel is the source of Christ’s self-designation, the “Son of Man” – Daniel 7:13-14.
In the gospel accounts, the “Son of Man” is the most frequent self-designation heard on the lips of Jesus, a term derived from Daniel’s vision of the figure “like a Son of Man,” who approached the “Ancient of Days” to receive “dominion.” For example, at the end of the age, “all the tribes of the earth” will mourn when “they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven.” Jesus was “that Son of Man.”
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The Cross of Christ is incompatible with any program or ideology that calls for revolution or violent regime change.
Writing to the house churches of Rome, the Apostle Paul laid down clear principles for Christian conduct towards the State. He exhorted believers to “subordinate themselves to governing powers: for there is no authority except by God,” a statement written at the time Nero was Caesar, the absolute ruler of the Roman world, and the same man who because the first emperor to persecute Christians. Yet, despite the nature of that regime, disciples were to accord it respect, submission, and honor.
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“Christ crucified” is the pattern for, and the test of, genuine discipleship. THAT is the Christ believers are called to emulate.
In the New Testament, the death of Jesus on a Roman cross is the paradigm for discipleship, the benchmark against which Christian conduct is measured, and the criterion for identifying true disciples from unfaithful ones. Whether examining spirituality, wisdom or the miraculous, Calvary is the line that separates the genuine from the counterfeit, and God cannot be known apart from the crucified Messiah.
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Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed Son of God. From the start, his life was characterized by the empowering presence of the Spirit – Matthew 1:20.
In Matthew, an angel informed Joseph that the child carried by Mary was “conceived of the Holy Spirit.” This indicated more than just the miraculous birth of the child or the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. From start to finish, the activity of the life-giving Spirit characterized the life and ministry of Jesus. He was “Jesus, who is called Christ,” the long-awaited Messiah.
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Jesus declared the “end” will not come until “this gospel of the kingdom of God is proclaimed to all nations” – Matthew 24:14.
Inevitably, when the subject of the return of Jesus is raised, we ask: What “signs” will precede it? Will wars, earthquakes, famines, and similar catastrophes mark his soon return? Fortunately for us, Jesus provided a most definitive “sign,” an event that must occur before the “coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven”; namely, the completion of the Church’s mission.
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After Jesus healed a blind man, for a fleeting moment, the eyes of Peter and the disciples were opened to “see” just who he was – Mark 8:27-38.
Jesus queried his disciples while he was “on the way” to Jerusalem: Who do men say that I am? At least nine times Mark declares that Jesus was “on the way.” His march to Jerusalem, and to his inevitable death, fulfilled the proclamation of John the Baptist from the words of Isaiah: “I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way.”
Continue reading WHOSOEVER WILL FOLLOW ME