Luke 9:58: And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nets; but the Son of Man hath not where [NIV no place] to lay his head.

Jesus used this name for Himself when He responded to a man who promised to become His disciple. He wanted this would-be follower to know that serving Him as the Son of Man would require sacrifice.

Son of Man is the name that Jesus used most often when referring to Himself. It appears in the New Testament almost one hundreds times, most of these in the Gospel narratives, on the lips of Jesus. A careful study of these occurrence reveals that He used the name in three different ways.

  1. Sometimes He used Son of Man in a general way, almost as a substitute for the first-person pronoun “I.” A good example of this usage is Jesus’ response to the person in the verse above.
  2. When Jesus predicted His suffering and death, He often spoke of Himself as the Son of Man. For example, He warned His disciples, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day” (Luke 9:22).
  3. With this name or title, Jesus often referred to Himself as a person of exceptional authority and power. He made it clear that He was not acting on His own, but under the authority of God the Father. When the Pharisees criticized Him for healing on the Sabbath, He told them, “The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:28).

Now we know how Jesus used the title; but the why is not as easy to explain. Perhaps He wanted to show His total identification with humankind. The Son of Man came to earth as a man-our brother and fellow sufferer-to deliver us from our bondage to sin.