Daniel 5 - 7:14
We mentioned yesterday that the end of Daniel 4 represents a midpoint in this section of the book. That is because the next three narratives mirror its preceding stories in reverse order. Belshazzar’s pride that ultimately condemns him with the handwriting on the wall (Ch. 5) is in direct contrast with the humility of his father’s in the face of pride in the previous chapter. The plot to kill Daniel and sentencing him to the lion’s den (Ch. 6) corresponds with his own friends’ encounter with the fiery furnace (Ch. 3). And the highlight of the whole book with the visions of the four beasts, the Ancient of Days, and the Son of Man (Ch. 7) connects with Daniel’s original interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream with the statue and rock (Ch. 2). The sandwich structure of these narratives emphasizes God’s sovereign plan throughout history and the importance of conveying humility in relationship with Him.
Whenever the Son of Man title is used in the Bible, it is in direct reference to this vision in Daniel 7. The prophecy brings to mind the promises made to David in 2 Sam. 7 when speaking of a ruler who would have an everlasting dominion over all the earth. Over time, this title was synonymous with the long-awaited Messiah come to deliver God’s people from all the brokenness in this world marred with sin. The stone that crushed the four-material statue to become a thriving mountain in Ch. 2 spoke of a supernatural force that would crush the tyrannical rule of man and reestablish the shalom found in the Garden of Eden. And the Son of Man that would tame these four beasts, representing oppressive human regimes, would come to exercise his rule over all the nations throughout all history.
The nail in the coffin for Jesus’ conviction in the gospel of Mark is his direct reference to himself as said Son of Man. Many of the chief priests and onlooking Jews would have deduced the apparent blasphemy he was uttering by claiming to be the long-awaited Messiah. Little did they know of Jesus’ royal bloodline that would make him a righteous heir to the Davidic covenant. And it was only through his own humiliation on the Cross that Christ would show the world that strength came through weakness and dominion would be exercised only after his death and resurrection. In many ways, Jesus is not the king we would expect that demonstrates power and might through brute force. But he shows his righteous reign in that he was willing to lay down his life for us so that we might be restored to full fellowship with the living God.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 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.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
- Rev. Nameun Cho
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.