34th Week in Ordinary Time
I saw One like a son of man. (Daniel 7:13)
If you’ve studied history, you know that the authority held by a monarch is meant to be passed down from one ruler to the next, not taken by force. This transfer of power typically happens in a coronation ceremony. In many cultures, the coronation ceremony reflects the belief that the power to rule comes from God—or at least from a source higher than the people themselves. Here in Daniel, we see the ultimate coronation. The figure of “the son of man” receives “dominion, glory, and kingship” from none other than his heavenly Father (Daniel 7:13, 14).
Daniel’s author saw this “son of man” as an apocalyptic ruler who would bring justice to the earth. With Spirit-inspired hindsight, we know him as Jesus, who has power over all creation (Ephesians 1:21-22). Contrast Jesus’ power with that of the four beasts that preceded him in Daniel’s vision. These four animals signified the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In spite of their great might, these dynasties eventually crumbled. Like many governments, they fell because their rulers became greedy and tyrannical, caring more about their influence than about their subjects. Clearly, that’s not how Jesus rules his people!
What about us? We are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). That means we share in Jesus’ authority; we can build his kingdom here on earth! It’s a high calling, and with it comes a high dignity. Filled with the power of the Spirit, we can do even greater things than Jesus himself did (John 14:12)!
Today and every day, remember who you are in Christ. United with him, you can be an agent of change in your family, workplace, and community. You have the mind of Christ, so you can bring wisdom where there is confusion and comfort where there is anxiety. You have the anointing of Christ, so you can bring healing, love, and mercy where there is hatred and division. Put yourself in his hands today, and call on his power to help you live a life pleasing to him. Then you will become a sign that “the Kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:31).
“Lord, thank you that you have made me a little lower than the angels! May I never forget that I carry your name. Help me to shine your light into every situation.”
(Psalm) Daniel 3:75-81