Why Jesus Chose the title "Son of Man"?


Jesus chose the title of "Son of Man" to launch his public ministry from the Book of Enoch, because (1) it recognized his pre-existence before the world was created as in John's Gospel, and (2) it also foretold that Jesus will be the light of nations.

 

It is not from the Book of Daniel. In Daniel, the Son of Man's role is that of the sovereign of all people. The only relevant reference is from Daniel 7:13. Not much insight or inspiration can be gleaned from this meager description.

Daniel 7: 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

It was from the Book of Enoch, which was widely used by the early Christians, and the second Similitude (written c. 2nd Century BC) was available during Jesus' time. For instance, Jude mentions Enoch.

The Book of Enoch was highly regarded until the 4th century AD. For example, Epistle of Barnabas regards it as Scripture. Early church farthers (e.g., Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian) regarded it highly. Since the 4th century, the manuscripts and any mention thereof disappeared, probably to stamp out heresies. Ethiopic manuscripts of the Book of Enoch was discovered by Bruce in 1773.

There are three “similitudes” (parables) attributed to Enoch. First Similitude (38 – 44) deals with final judgment. The Second Similitude (45 – 57), the Son of Man is one who was given that name before Time itself. He would become a light to the Gentiles, and will be worshipped throughout the earth. Son of Man is also known as Messiah or Elect One.
Jude 1:14-15: It was also about these that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "See, the Lord is comingm with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15to execute judgment on all, and to convict everyone of all the deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

In Chapter 48, the Son of Man's name was invoked in heavenly court, in the presence of the Lord of Spirits and the Ancient of Days. This event occurred during the time before time, i.e., before the sun and the stars were formed and before the world was created.

This is consistent with John's description of Jesus' existence before the world was created.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life,a and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

The Book of Enoch, Chapter 48 http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/enoch.html

1In that place I beheld a fountain of righteousness, which never failed, encircled by many springs of wisdom. Of these all the thirsty drank, and were filled with wisdom, having their habitation with the righteous, the elect, and the holy.
2In that hour was this Son of man invoked before the Lord of spirits, and his name in the presence of the Ancient of days.
3Before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of heaven were formed, his name was invoked in the presence of the Lord of spirits. A support shall he be for the righteous and the holy to lean upon, without falling; and he shall be the light of nations.
4He shall be the hope of those whose hearts are troubled. All, who dwell on earth, shall fall down and worship before him; shall bless and glorify him, and sing praises to the name of the Lord of spirits.
5Therefore the Elect and the Concealed One existed in his presence, before the world was created, and for ever.
6In his presence he existed, and has revealed to the saints and to the righteous the wisdom of the Lord of spirits; for he has preserved the lot of the righteous, because they have hated and rejected this world of iniquity, and have detested all its works and ways, in the name of the Lord of spirits.
7For in his name shall they be preserved; and his will shall be their life. In those days shall the kings of the earth and the mighty men, who have gained the world by their achievements, become humble in countenance.
8For in the day of their anxiety and trouble their souls shall not be saved; and they shall be in subjection to those whom I have chosen.
9I will cast them like hay into the fire, and like lead into the water. Thus shall they burn in the presence of the righteous, and sink in the presence of the holy; nor shall a tenth part of them be found.
10But in the day of their trouble, the world shall obtain tranquillity.

The Lord of Spirits chose the Son of Man to come to the earth to reveal the concealed treasures (e.g., eternal life), and he will overthrow the kings and their dominions.

The main result of the advent of the Son of Man is that he will be the light of the nations.

 

Enoch 46
1There I beheld the Ancient of days, whose head was like white wool, and with him another, whose countenance resembled that of man. His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels. Then I inquired of one of the angels, who went with me, and who showed me every secret thing, concerning this Son of man; who he was; whence he was and why he accompanied the Ancient of days.
2He answered and said to me, This is the Son of man, to whom righteousness belongs; with whom righteousness has dwelt; and who will reveal all the treasures of that which is concealed: for the Lord of spirits has chosen him; and his portion has surpassed all before the Lord of spirits in everlasting uprightness.
3This Son of man, whom you behold, shall raise up kings and the mighty from their dwelling places, and the powerful from their thrones; shall loosen the bridles of the powerful, and break in pieces the teeth of sinners.
4He shall hurl kings from their thrones and their dominions; because they will not exalt and praise him, nor humble themselves before him, by whom their kingdoms were granted to them. The countenance likewise of the mighty shall He cast down, filling them with confusion. Darkness shall be their habitation, and worms shall be their bed; nor from that their bed shall they hope to be again raised, because they exalted not the name of the Lord of spirits.