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…
I. THE NATURE OF THAT SUPREMACY WHICH OUR BLESSED LORD EXERCISES AS THE SON OF MAN. That this whole vision relates to the Mediatorial Person and Administration of Christ is demonstrably apparent. It is mediatorially that the designation "Son of Man" applies to the glorious Personage whom the Celestial Intelligences are represented as bringing near to the Ancient of Days. The predictions of our Lord's mediatorial government were grievously misapprehended by the Jewish nation, not excepting Christ's immediate followers. Rivetted by vivid delineations of Messiah's power and glory, they overlooked those Scriptures which foretold, His profound humiliation, obedience, and sufferings. The decease which He was to accomplish at Jerusalem was an offence even to the apostles themselves. (Mark 9:31, 32). Christ's supremacy is intended to command the service of His subjects. Jehovah alone is entitled to this service from all intelligent creatures.
1. It is a spiritual service. External subjection may be yielded in the absence of all those principles and affections which alone invest it with moral character and worth. Human legislation discharges its duty when it uses all competent means for ensuring obedience to positive statutes. It cannot go further. The first demand which Jehovah prefers is, My Son, give me thy heart. Love to Heaven's Lawgiver is the rudimental principle of obedience to His will. Of this love, mankind, without a solitary exception, are wholly destitute. Against Scriptural views, illustrated by the findings of experience, it is nugatory to oppose the testimony of superficial moralists, or dreamy poets. One main design of the mediatorial supremacy of Christ is to restore to the human soul that best of all affections, the love which is the fulfilling of the law. For this end, Messiah became "the Son of Man." The love of God our Saviour is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, and becomes the living principle of new obedience.
2. The service which Christ requires from all people, nations, and languages is unreserved. Those who are redeemed by the blood and renewed by the Spirit of Christ, "have respect unto all God's commandments." Every requirement in the infallible directory deserves and demands our prompt and faithful observance. A genuine servant of the Son of Man is not satisfied with generalities. A common practice of false teachers in our Lord's day was the exaltation of some favourite precepts at the expense of others which are specially irksome to flesh and blood.
3. The service which the Son of Man claims is habitual service. Temporary or occasional devotedness of heart and life to Christ is not the kind of obedience which He will ever accept. Wherever living faith is implanted, it is an undying principle of obedience. In this world the servants of the Son of Man are distinguished rather by the sincerity and fervour of their aspirations than by uniform progress in holiness.
II. THE UNIVERSAL EXTENT OF CHRIST'S SOVEREIGNTY. "All people... should serve Him." The period referred to is after His resurrection. Previously to the ascension of the Son of Man, the gospel kingdomhad been, for reasons infinitely wise and good, confined almost exclusively within Palestine and its vicinity. Whilst other nations professed that measures of traditionary knowledge which a primary revelation and their occasional intercourse with the seed of Abraham supplied, it was little more than sufficient to render their spiritual darkness awfully visible.
III. THE STABILITY AND ENDLESS DURATION OF THE DOMINION OF THE SON OF MAN. The fluctuating and evanescent nature of all earthly power and glory is apparent to the most superficial observer. To a casual observer of human affairs, the destinies of the church may seem to he subjected to those sweeping resolutions which have overthrown the proudest dynasties of the world. When we speak of the stability and endless duration of the dominion of the Son of Man, our contemplations are carried forward "to the end of all things." Practical lessons:(1) The obligation of personal subjection to the dominion of the Son of Man. It will avail us nothing to admit the complete, universal, and everlasting supremacy of Christ "over all flesh," unless we yield, individually, submission to His authority. True religion must begin at home.
(2) The duty of fervent and persevering prayer for the advancement of Christ's kingdom.
(3) The duty of promoting our Redeemer's kingdom by active and beneficent exertions.
(J. Smyth, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.