The Threefold Pattern of Jesus’s Ministry

From Frank Thielman’s Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach:

“In Daniel, therefore, the four beasts and ‘one like a son of man” stand for nations. Just as God gave human beings authority over the beasts (Gen. 1:28; 2:19-20), so the ‘son of man,’ a symbol for God’s people, should properly have authority over the nations, because they are the saints of the Most High. Befor that authority is conferred, however, they must pass through a period of suffering at the hands of a particflarly fierce Gentile oppressor. At the end of that period, ‘the one like a son of man’ will be vindicated by the Anciend of Days and will assume his rightful hegemony over the nations in a ‘kingdom that will never be destroyed.’

The vision and its interpretation, therefore, follow a threefold pattern. The ‘one like a son of man’ is (1) characterized by authority that is (2) hidden for a time by the oppression of God’s enemies but (3) is eventually vindicated by God.

When Mark applies the term ‘Son of Man’ to Jesus, he implies that Jesus’ ministry followed this threefold pattern.” (69-70)

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