Because he is the Son of man - Because he is the Messiah; for in this sense the phrase, Son of man, is often to be understood. But some join this to the next verse thus: - Marvel not at this, because he is the Son of man.
Hath given him authority - Hath appointed him to do this. Has made him to be judge of all. This is represented as being the appointment of the Father, Acts 17:31. The word “authority” here (commonly rendered “power”) implies all that is necessary to execute judgment - all the physical power to raise the dead, and to investigate the actions and thoughts of the life; and all the “moral right” or authority to sit in judgment on the creatures of God, and to pronounce their doom.
To execute judgment - To do judgment - that is, to judge. He has appointment to “do justice;” to see that the universe suffers no wrong, either by the escape of the guilty or by the punishment of the innocent.
Because be is the Son of man - The phrase “Son of man” here seems to be used in the sense of “because he is a man,” or because he has human nature. The term is one which Jesus often gives to himself, to show his union with man and his interest in man. See the notes at Matthew 8:19-20. It is to be remarked here that the word “son” does not have the article before it in the original: Because he is A son of man - that is, because he is a man. It would seem from this that there is a propriety that one in our nature should judge us. What this propriety is we do not certainly know. It may be:
1.Because one who has experienced our infirmities, and who possesses our nature, may be supposed by those “who are judged” to be better qualified than one in a different nature.
2.Because he is to decide between “man” and “God,” and it is proper that our feelings, and nature, and views should be represented in the judge, as well as those of God.
3.Because Jesus has all the feelings of compassion we could ask - all the benevolence we could desire in a judge; because he has ShowN his disposition to defend us by giving his life, and it can never be alleged by those who are condemned that their judge was a distant, cold, and unfriendly being.
Some have supposed that the expression “Son of man” here means the same as “Messiah” (see Daniel 7:13-14), and that the meaning is that God hath made him judge because he was the Messiah. Some of the ancient versions and fathers connected this with the following verse, thus: “Marvel not because I am a man, or because this great work is committed to a man apparently in humble life. You shall see greater things than these.” Thus, the Syriac version reads it, and Chrysostom, Theophylact, and some others among the fathers.
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15. DA 231.1
The Messiah's coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal. DA 231.2Read in context »
Upon one Sabbath day, as the Saviour and His disciples returned from the place of worship, they passed through a field of ripening grain. Jesus had continued His work to a late hour, and while passing through the fields, the disciples began to gather the heads of grain, and to eat the kernels after rubbing them in their hands. On any other day this act would have excited no comment, for one passing through a field of grain, an orchard, or a vineyard, was at liberty to gather what he desired to eat. See Deuteronomy 23:24, 25. But to do this on the Sabbath was held to be an act of desecration. Not only was the gathering of the grain a kind of reaping, but the rubbing of it in the hands was a kind of threshing. Thus, in the opinion of the rabbis, there was a double offense. DA 284.1
The spies at once complained to Jesus, saying, “Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.” DA 284.2
When accused of Sabbathbreaking at Bethesda, Jesus defended Himself by affirming His Sonship to God, and declaring that He worked in harmony with the Father. Now that the disciples are attacked, He cites His accusers to examples from the Old Testament, acts performed on the Sabbath by those who were in the service of God. DA 284.3Read in context »
The rulers were silenced; and many of the people exclaimed, “Is not this He, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?” DA 457.1
Many among Christ's hearers who were dwellers at Jerusalem, and who were not ignorant of the plots of the rulers against Him, felt themselves drawn to Him by an irresistible power. The conviction pressed upon them that He was the Son of God. But Satan was ready to suggest doubt; and for this the way was prepared by their own erroneous ideas of the Messiah and His coming. It was generally believed that Christ would be born at Bethlehem, but that after a time He would disappear, and at His second appearance none would know whence He came. There were not a few who held that the Messiah would have no natural relationship to humanity. And because the popular conception of the glory of the Messiah was not met by Jesus of Nazareth, many gave heed to the suggestion, “Howbeit we know this Man whence He is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.” DA 457.2
While they were thus wavering between doubt and faith, Jesus took up their thoughts and answered them: “Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not.” They claimed a knowledge of what the origin of Christ should be, but they were in utter ignorance of it. If they had lived in accordance with the will of God, they would have known His Son when He was manifested to them. DA 457.3Read in context »
The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honorable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden. A Jew was not allowed to kindle a fire nor even to light a candle on the Sabbath. As a consequence the people were dependent upon the Gentiles for many services which their rules forbade them to do for themselves. They did not reflect that if these acts were sinful, those who employed others to perform them were as guilty as if they had done the work themselves. They thought that salvation was restricted to the Jews, and that the condition of all others, being already hopeless, could be made no worse. But God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all. His laws sanction no unreasonable or selfish restrictions. DA 204.1
In the temple Jesus met the man who had been healed. He had come to bring a sin offering and also a thank offering for the great mercy he had received. Finding him among the worshipers, Jesus made Himself known, with the warning words, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” DA 204.2
The healed man was overjoyed at meeting his Deliverer. Ignorant of the enmity toward Jesus, he told the Pharisees who had questioned him, that this was He who had performed the cure. “Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.” DA 204.3Read in context »
To His Son the Father has committed all judgment. Christ will declare the reward of loyalty. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.... And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” Christ accepted humanity and lived on this earth a pure, sanctified life. For this reason He has received the appointment of judge. He who occupies the position of judge is God manifest in the flesh. What a joy it will be to recognize in Him our Teacher and Redeemer, bearing still the marks of the crucifixion, from which shine beams of glory, giving additional value to the crowns which the redeemed receive from His hands, the very hands outstretched in blessing over His disciples as He ascended. The very voice which said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” bids His ransomed ones welcome to His presence. The very One who gave His precious life for them, who by His grace moved their hearts to repentance, who awakened them to their need of repentance, receives them now into His joy. Oh, how they love Him! The realization of their hope is infinitely greater than their expectation. Their joy is complete, and they take their glittering crowns and cast them at their Redeemer's feet.... LHU 348.2Read in context »
That God should thus be manifest in the flesh is indeed a mystery; and without the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot hope to comprehend this subject. The most humbling lesson that man has to learn is the nothingness of human wisdom, and the folly of trying, by his own unaided efforts, to find out God. He may exert his intellectual powers to the utmost, he may have what the world calls a superior education, yet he may still be ignorant in God's eyes. The ancient philosophers boasted of their wisdom; but how did it weigh in the scale with God? Solomon had great learning; but his wisdom was foolishness; for he did not know how to stand in moral independence, free from sin, in the strength of a character molded after the divine similitude. Solomon has told us the result of his research, his painstaking efforts, his persevering inquiry. He pronounces his wisdom altogether vanity. 1SM 249.1
By wisdom the world knew not God. Their estimation of the divine character, their imperfect knowledge of His attributes, did not enlarge and expand their mental conception. Their minds were not ennobled in conformity to the divine will, but they plunged into the grossest idolatry. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:22, 23). This is the worth of all requirements and knowledge apart from Christ. 1SM 249.2Read in context »
Christ accepted humanity, and lived on this earth a pure, sanctified life. For this reason He has received the appointment of judge. He who occupies the position of judge is God manifest in the flesh. What a joy it will be to recognize in Him our Teacher and Redeemer, bearing still the marks of the crucifixion, from which shine beams of glory, giving additional value to the crowns which the redeemed receive from His hands, the very hands outstretched in blessing over His disciples as He ascended. The very voice which said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” bids His ransomed ones welcome to His presence. CS 349.1
The very One who gave His precious life for them, who by His grace moved their hearts to repentance, who awakened them to their need of repentance, receives them now into His joy. Oh, how they love Him! The realization of their hope is infinitely greater than their expectation. Their joy is complete, and they take their glittering crowns and cast them at their Redeemer's feet.—The Review and Herald, June 18, 1901. CS 349.2Read in context »
“And before him shall be gathered all nations.” The very One who died for man is to judge him in the last day: for the Father “hath committed all judgment unto the Son: ... and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” What a day that will be, when those who rejected Christ will look upon Him whom their sins have pierced. Mar 292.4Read in context »
Whatever work we do, we are to do it for Christ. There are many kinds of temporal work to be done for God. An unbeliever would do this work mechanically, for the wages he receives. He does not know the joy of cooperation with the Master Worker. There is no spirituality in the work of him who serves self. Common motives, common aspirations, common inspirations, a desire to be thought clever by men, rule in his life. Such a one may receive praise from men, but not from God. Those who are truly united with Christ do not work for the wages they receive. Laborers together with God, they do not strive to exalt self. MM 133.1
In the last great day decisions will be made that will be a surprise to many. Human judgment will have no place in the decisions then made. Christ can and will judge every case; for all judgment has been committed to Him by the Father. He will estimate service by that which is invisible to men. The most secret things lie open to His all-seeing eye. When the Judge of all men shall make His investigation, many of those whom human estimation has placed first will be placed last, and those who have been put in the lowest place by men will be taken out of the ranks and made first.—The Review and Herald, July 31, 1900. MM 133.2Read in context »