But Who Do You Say That I Am?


H.P. Liddon


Matthew 16:13-15 "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? So they said, Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you say that I am?"

"Now observe the exact form of our Lord's question, as given in Matthew's Gospel, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" This question involves an assertion, namely, that the Speaker is the Son of Man. What did He mean by that designation? It is important to remember that with two exceptions the title is only applied to our Lord in the New Testament by His own lips. It was His self chosen Name: why did He choose it?"

A Clear Assertion of Messiahship

First, then, it was in itself, to Jewish ears, a clear assertion of Messiahship. In the vision of Daniel "One like unto the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13) had come with the clouds of Heaven, and there was given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom." This kingdom succeeded in the prophet's vision to four inhuman kingdoms, correspondent to the four typical beasts; it was the kingdom of a prince, human indeed, and yet from Heaven. In consequence of this prophecy the "Son of Man" became a popular and official title of the Messiah. Our Lord, in His prophecy over Jerusalem, predicted that at the last day "they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30). And when standing at the tribunal of Caiaphas He thus addressed His judges: "I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven" (Matthew 26:64). In these passages there is absolutely no room for doubting either His distinct reference to the vision in Daniel, or the claim which the title Son of Man was intended to assert. As habitually used by our Lord, it was a constant setting forth of His Messianic dignity in the face of the people of Israel."


The Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. H.P. Liddon. Pickering & Inglis LTD. 29 Ludgate Hill, London, E.C.4. Page 11; no date.