Monday, October 25, 2010

Mondays with J. Ramsay Michaels

Michael's commentary on Jn 1:51 (a verse near and dear to the heart of my former student David Kirk) says this:

"In simplest terms, 'the angels of God going up and coming down over the Son of man' represent the 'glory' (doxa) to be displayed in Jesus' ministry (compare v. 14), from the wedding at Cana (2:11) to the raising of Lazarus fro the dead (11:4, 40) - all of it preliminary to the Son of man's final 'glorification' in the passion narratives ... As to the term 'Son of man' ... [i]n its strategic context here, it trumps all the other [titles] - even 'Son of God' - as the defining title for Jesus in this Gospel. This is appropriate because, unlike the others, 'Son of man' is not a title someone else gives to Jesus, but one that he claims for himself, just as in he other Gospels. (137-38).


John Thomson said...

Very good. Ps 8 tells us of the glory that the Son of man will have (all creation, therefore angels, subject to him). Formally Christ's in resurrection (Hebs 2) but revealed in incarnation and his power and rights over creation revealed in his ministry (water into wine etc).

The Messiah (King of Israel) Nathaniel saw would be rejected but with the eyes of opened faith Nathaniel would see the reality in the three years that lay ahead - Christ is ruler of all creation and all is subject to him.

DAE WOO SEO said...

For Moloney (one of greatest Johannine scholars), therefore, John 1:51 is regarded as "programmatic for the whole of the public revelation of God in the appearance of the Johannine Jesus; it is the promise of the Son of Man" (Moloney, "The Johannine Son of Man," BTB 6 [1976]: 177- 89, here 179-80}.

In 1983, furthermore, Lindars argued in a similar line that "[John]1:51 is a programmatic statement, pointing to the significance of the story that is to be unfolded" (Barnabas Lindars, Jesus Son of Man: A Fresh Examination of the Son of Man Sayings in the Gospels in the Light of Recent Research [London: SPCK, 1983], 149).

My train of the thought is also moving in this direction.

Steven Coxhead said...

I would have thought that (in a Jewish context) John 1:51 also has something to do with identifying Jesus as Bethel, i.e., Jesus is the eschatological temple (developing John 1:14 and pre-empting John 2:19), the one who is God who reveals God. I note that the presence of Yahweh is in view in Gen 28:16, the gate of heaven in Gen 28:17, and revelation in Gen 35:7. The Son of Man reference in John 1:51 then ties the Son of Man figure of Dan 7 in with Jesus as Bethel, the one who opens up the way to God. The identity of Christ is also important in the context, as Nathanael's confession suggests.

pennoyer said...

@Steven: Very promising way to read this. Thanks for sharing it. - Ray