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The phrase "Son of Man" is a term used within the Bible. It sometimes is used to refer to humanity in general (for example, Psalm 8:4-6) and sometimes for a particular man (for example Ezekiel 2:1). In Daniel 7 a character who is a heavenly figure of total authority is called the Son of Man. The title was also one that Jesus commonly used for himself.

Jesus used the title "Son of Man" to show both his glory and his suffering and service. Because he was using a term that did not have a clear meaning he could use the term to move the focus away from him being a political leader, but rather to show how the Messiah, or God's anointed one with authority, was a servant.

Jesus used the Son of Man to talk about his future glory, for example in Mark 8:38 ("When the Son of Man comes in glory") and Luke 22:69 ("Son of Man will be seated at right hand of power of God"). He also uses the term to show his authority, for example Mark 2:10 (The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins) and John 6:27 (The Son of Man is the Bread of Life).

Jesus also used the term Son of Man to show his servant nature and that he would suffer, for example in Mark 8:31.

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