John 12.23 cont.
23 Then Jesus answered them saying: “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.”
How do we describe ourselves? It may not always be easy to say what kind of person we are. We know how we would like to be described, and the kind of character that we want others to see, but we also know that the reality is not always in agreement with what we would like, and that we often fall somewhat short of our ideal description.
In His response to the Greeks, Jesus described Himself with a title that He had used before, and which we also find in the other three gospels. He called Himself the Son of Man, a term that we also find in Mark 2.28 where Jesus said that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.
This is a title that comes from the prophetic book of Daniel. He had a God given vision and he recorded this: 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 – Daniel 7.13 (RSV).
In his prophecy Daniel was given a view into the future.
The situation in his day was one where tyrannical powers ruled. They were empires of massive viciousness, being described as wild animals that are devasatingly destructive.
Daniel described these powers in terms of four beasts:
∙ the lion having eagles’ wings
∙ the bear with three ribs in its mouth
∙ the leopard with four wings and four heads
∙ an indescribable horrific beast that had great iron teeth.
However, in the vision given to Daniel the future ruler is described a Son of Man, not a wild beast (although in the book of Revelation Jesus is described as the Lamb that was slain, but a lamb is not a wild beast).
The contrast could not be greater.