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.
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 »
“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 »
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 »