In this post I will look at Jesus’ prediction of future death and ressurection found in Mark 9:30. This verse mentions the ‘son of man’. What does this mean?
Jesus uses the phrase ‘son of man’ as a self designation in all four gospels. In Mark’s gospel it appears in 13 different verses.
Mark 2:10 (ESV)
10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—
Mark 2:28 (ESV)
28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 8:31 (ESV)
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mark 8:38 (ESV)
38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 9:9 (ESV)
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Mark 9:12 (ESV)
12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
Mark 9:31 (ESV)
31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”
Mark 10:33 (ESV)
33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles.
Mark 10:45 (ESV)
45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 13:26 (ESV)
26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Mark 14:21 (ESV)
21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Mark 14:41 (ESV)
41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mark 14:62 (ESV)
62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
He uses the phrase to speak of his own authority (Mark 2:10, Mark 2:28) , about this own death and resurrection. (8:31, 9:9,12,31; 10:33,45,14:21, 14:41), and his future coming (Mk 8:38,13:26,14:62).
There is little doubt that Daniel 7 is in mind. In Daniel the son of man is a representative of Israel (sons of the most high) who suffer defeat at the hands of their enemies (Dan 7:21,25). This ‘son of man’ is brought before the LORD and is vindicating receiving dominion, glory and a kingdom. (Dan 7:13)
Bearing this in mind we can look at Mark 9:31 and postulate that Jesus saw his future death and vindication as part of the story of Israel. He represents Israel and will suffer for them. In his death and resurrection he brings to fulfilment the promises of old. God will act in Jesus to being about what he always said he would. Through the son of man, and those he represents, vindication will occur. We may also say that in his death Jesus takes on the suffering which was due to Israel. He takes on the curse of exile and exhausts it, thus allowing the arrival of the eschaton and vindication for the covenant people.