The Son Of Man-Part 2
And Jesus saith unto him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20
Consider and observe animals that God created. Each one is suited to their particular habitat, and habitats are as diverse as the creatures which occupy them. The Lord selects two of his creatures as examples. The foxes have their dens where they can find a harbour of safety below the ground, away from larger predators. The birds have their nests, far above the ground, inaccessible to many that would make them prey. They have their homes and their habitat.
Our Lord compares himself to these creatures in Matthew 8:20. He refers to Himself as the Son of Man. This is the first occurrence of this title in the New Testament, and it bears significance. The usage is one of startling contrast to the Jew who knew the Scriptures. Daniel 7:13-14 says this of the Son of Man, their coming Messiah,
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
The reference demonstrates the authority and the power which the Son of Man would have. The Son of Man would be the ruler of an everlasting kingdom given to Him by God, in which all would serve Him. In Matthew’s gospel, after the multitude of people observed healings and exorcisms, a scribe makes a bold statement that he would follow this Rabbi anywhere. The scribe’s claim would be met with a statement which would have shocked Him, “the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.” What a tremendous stoop! The Son of Man took the lowest of places. The High and Lofty (Isa 57:15) showed Himself as meek and lowly (Matt 11:29). The rich, for our sake, became poor. His was a path of suffering and shame that led to a cross.
The same statement is recorded in Luke 9:57, after a Samaritan village rejects him. Afterward, people made assertions in the same vein as the Jewish scribe: “in the generous enthusiasm of the moment—perhaps, stimulated by the wrong of the Samaritans, perhaps, touched by the love which would rebuke the zeal of the disciples… broke into a spontaneous declaration of readiness to follow Him absolutely and everywhere.” And yet, it was ordained that the Son of Man’s first appearing would be met with rejection, thus He had no place to lay His head.
Throughout His journey on earth, the Son of Man was not welcome in many places, with the exception of Peter’s house in Capernaum or the home of His friends in Bethany: no room for them in the inn, a flight to Egypt to escape Herod, an attempt on His life in Nazareth, and an inability to move openly in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. The Son of Man was not ushered to the throne of Zion at His first coming to earth but was taken outside the city and killed.
We have accepted Him as our King, though He still stands rejected by the world. What is most amazing is not that we have accepted Him but that He accepts us. He accepts us not only as subjects of the kingdom but also as those who should share in His kingdom. A remnant of Israel will also share in His reign, but not until His second coming to earth (Rom 11:27). The Son of Man who had nowhere to lay His head is glorified now at the right hand of God and is waiting for the hour in which to return to earth to set up His Kingdom. Then the Son of Man will have a place to rest on earth, when the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
 Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006), 565.
Mitchell Taylor is in fellowship with his wife in the assembly that meets in Taylorside Gospel Hall, Saskatchewan (Canada). He is employed as a High School Teacher.