Matthew 8:20

Holes (pwleou). A lurking hole, burrow. Nests (kataskhnwsei). "Roosts, i.e. leafy, skhnai for settling at night (tabernacula, habitacula), not nests" (McNeile). In the Septuagint it is used of God tabernacling in the Sanctuary. The verb (kataskhnow) is there used of birds ( Psalms 103:12 ).

The Son of man (qo uio tou anqrwpou). This remarkable expression, applied to himself by Jesus so often, appears here for the first time. There is a considerable modern literature devoted to it. "It means much for the Speaker, who has chosen it deliberately, in connection with private reflections, at whose nature we can only guess, by study of the many occasions on which the name is used" (Bruce). Often it means the Representative Man. It may sometimes stand for the Aramaic barnasha, the man, but in most instances that idea will not suit. Jesus uses it as a concealed Messianic title. It is possible that this scribe would not understand the phrase at all. Bruce thinks that here Jesus means "the unprivileged Man," worse off than the foxes and the birds. Jesus spoke Greek as well as Aramaic. It is inconceivable that the Gospels should never call Jesus "the Son of man" and always credit it to him as his own words if he did not so term himself, about eighty times in all, thirty-three in Matthew. Jesus in his early ministry, except at the very start in John 4 , abstains from calling himself Messiah. This term suited his purpose exactly to get the people used to his special claim as Messiah when he is ready to make it openly.