The strange way in which Jesus refers to himself in the third person as Son of Man can be understood as a term for his Spirit. This report explains its significance.
I'm old enough to remember the times when priests would say, "The Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost." At least as far back to the 50s, Halloween images of ghosts were portrayed as heads draped by white sheets flying through the air. One popular cartoon series of that time was "Casper the Friendly Ghost." It might be a coincidence or it might be the reason why priests abolished the word from their vocabulary. Now they say, "The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit."
From now on I'm going to use the word "spirit," with a reminder that it means the same thing as "ghost" without the white sheets.
Spirit = Air
The "Spirit" makes its introduction at the beginning of Genesis when the Sprit of God is said to be moving over the face of the waters. This was before God created light.
Strong's Dictionary tells us that "Spirit" comes from the Hebrew word rauch, which means wind or breath. "Soul" has a similar meaning. It comes from the Hebrew nepesh, meaning breathe, ghost or spirit. In the Greek New Testament, ghost or spirit derives from pneuma, meaning a current of air or breath. Similarly, "soul" comes from psuche, meaning breathe. So when we use these words, they are basically synonymous. In colloquial speech, this spirit stuff is full of hot air. For more about the basic elements, see Elements of Creation.
Matthew's depiction of Jesus' walking on water comes right out of Genes 1:2. Watch how the words "ghost" and "wind" interplay with each other.
It was at night when the apostles saw his ghost walking on the sea. At Jesus' beckoning, Peter tries it. When he saw the wind, fear overtook him and he began to sink. Jesus held him up and scolded him for not having faith. Then the wind ceased.
the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the
when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified,
saying, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out for fear.
27But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."
28And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water."
29He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;
30but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. (Matt. 14:25-32)
Jesus' Ghost can be seen as a reflection
of the sun's rays
upon the water.
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. (Mark 14:24)
Spirit = Life
The identification of air with life is stressed when God breathed into Adam and made him a living being.
It is repeated in John: The spirit gives life to the flesh.
63It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63)
While we know today that breathing is one of many necessary body functions. In Bible days, it was thought to be an element that gave life to bodies. It is firmly held in medical science that a human body has the capacity to generate its own life without need to be animated by a supernatural soul. An explanation for this ancient fallacy, called dualism, can be found in Paul's Sin. By this imaginary parsing of a body into two entities, Paul conjured the idea that the spirit is the body's conscience. He applies it to both man and God.
revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything,
even the depths of God.
11For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. 2:10-11)
To argue as Paul does, that desires of the flesh are in opposition to the Spirit would imply that that God made a stupid mistake, but this is Paul for you.
17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. (Gal. 5:17)
Again, flesh brings corruption (sin), while the Spirit reaps eternal life.
8For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal. 6:8)
Thus far we have established that in biblespeak, every individual, Jesus and God himself is composed of body and spirit.
Spirit = Son of Man
The clue to the Son of Man in the Gospels as synonymous with Jesus' Spirit comes from the next passage in Corinthians. "Adam" is a Hebrew word for "man." Therefore, Son of Man is synonymous with Son of Adam. As Paul says, the last Adam was a life giving spirit.
is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam
became a life-giving spirit.
46But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.(1 Cor. 15:45-46)
According to Paul, the faithful and Jesus are sons through God.
because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our
hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
7So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. (Gal. 4:6-7)
The understanding that Jesus is supposed to be composed of a body and a spirit described as Son of Man explains why Jesus talks about Son of Man grammatically in the third person. His Spirit is presented as a person within a person or as a shadow of his first person.
These verses should now make sense.
8"And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; (Luke 12:8)
20. "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head." (Matt. 8:20)
23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes. (Matt. 10:23)
After Jesus died, he, meaning his spirit, ascended to heaven.
51While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:51)
Spirit = Orion
There is also an astronomical aspect to "Son of man."
those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and
the moon will not give its light,
25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
27And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. (Mark 13:24-27)
The Son of man represents the constellation Orion. For an explanation, see Jesus' Son of Man. The "clouds" symbolize the Milky Way. For an explanation on clouds, see Pillar of Cloud. Last but not least, Jesus represents the sun. See Gospel Zodiac.
The Gospels were written as an astronomical allegory. To summarize what they are saying: Jesus' ministry takes place within one solar year. When the sun descends to its lowest point during the winter solstice, the sun, a.k.a. Jesus died. The sun is reborn on the first day when daylight hours start to increase, December 25.
At the same time on December 25, the Son of Man represented by Orion, starts to rise above the horizon. This is the time when Jesus' spirit is said to ascend into heaven. Orion also has three closely aligned stars which the gospels call the three wise men. On the morning of December 25, they point to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, which is represented by the Star of Bethlehem. (See Star of Bethlehem)
Every year Orion parallels the sun's path, along with its highs and lows. Thus because Orion shadows the sun's yearly cycle, the gospel writers chose to symbolize it as Jesus' spirit, a.k.a. the Sun of Man.
By deciphering the Gospel's language, it becomes clear that Christians have been tricked into worshipping the sun. When they believe that Jesus' Spirit can maintain the life of their spirit, they have been tricked into believing that Orion can fulfill their fantasies. It ain't going to happen!