Why did Jesus refer to himself as the Son of man? -- Ginny Riley (Las Vegas)
Jesus was looking for a Messianic title that would not incite the masses to rebellion. Therefore he selected a term (from Daniel and the Psalms) which was less incendiary that "the Messiah," or "the Liberator." Furthermore, the term son of man emphasizes his essential humanity. This, for the Jews, was the big surprise. In fact, in the early centuries of Christianity, the difficulty was not in accepting Jesus' divinity, but rather his humanity. (Things are reversed in our day.) "Son of Man" was the perfect title, and the wisest self-appellation considering the times.
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