The Personal Greatness of the Son of Man
Now here He is presented in the Revelation, and He is not presented in the language of Deity, although it runs very close. At some points, you cannot distinguish between the humanity and the deity. You do not know whether John is speaking of God or of Christ at certain points. The fact is, he is speaking of the One Who is both. But the title, as we have already seen by which He is presented in this matchless, incomparable unveiling, is "Son of Man." Let us now consider the personal greatness of the Son of Man, Who is, at the same time, Son of God, Very God.
We have referred to the Letter to the Hebrews, and we call it in now for our help in this matter. We read from it, and we begin with this "effulgence of His glory," and then we read: "Whom He appointed heir of all things" - appointed heir of all things! - "through Whom ... He made the ages ...," and so on. "But one hath somewhere testified, saying, What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the Son of Man, that Thou visitest Him? "Thou didst set Him over the works of Thy hands: Thou didst put all things in subjection under His feet ... We see not yet all things subjected to Him. But we behold Him Who hath been made for a little while lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for every man."
Here is the Son of Man in His Own Personal Greatness. See Who He is: "the effulgence ...," "the express image ..." See His appointment: "Heir of all things," See His instrumentality and agency: "through Whom the ages were made." The Son of Man - how great this One is! You would not think that, when you see Him walking about Palestine - not all that! You do not recognize Him. But that same One is now here before John, with these devastating effects; that same One, now revealed, unveiled, as to what He is essentially in His Person; Who He is; what position He holds. He is here as the Heir of all things come for His inheritance. And the rest of the book sees Him working it out - the securing of that inheritance of which He is the Heir, and, in the end, of a "new heaven and a new earth." What a glorious inheritance comes into view in the last chapters of this book! This is the Son of Man; this is His greatness! But we are completely defeated at any attempt at a true, not exaggerated, unveiling of Jesus Christ. There is His personal greatness.
But as the Son of Man, we have, in that very title, His representative greatness. To borrow again from the Letter to the Hebrews, where first He is appointed Heir of all things, then He is the "Captain of their salvation," "bringing many sons to glory." The word "Captain" there would be better translated the "Pioneer" of their salvation - the One Who goes before to lead them into that which He Himself has entered. Of course, that is the substance of this Letter to the Hebrews. He has gone before; He has entered into the heavens; He has "passed through the heavens"; He has gone the whole way, and reached the end, as the Pioneer of many sons being brought to glory, whom He calls His "brethren." His representative greatness, as there at the end, in fullness, in glory - for there He represents all those whom He is going to bring and is bringing - how great it is! We read in the Revelation of a "great multitude which no man can number out of every tribe and kindred and tongue ... thousands ... ten thousands of thousands ..." Language is taxed to breaking point to describe the fruit of the suffering of the Lamb! And He is the Representative in glory of them all. How great is His Person and His representation!
(continued with # 5)