And Jesus saith unto him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.’ Matthew 8:20 KJV

Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20 NASB

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  Revelation 14:14 KJV

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. Revelation 14:14 NASB

The above-cited verses mark the first and last occasions in the New Testament where the title, “Son of Man” is employed. While they appear in stark contrast at first consideration, they also share a common theme.

In the mention of the Lord Jesus as Son of Man, we are reminded not merely that He was a man or that He was the ideal man. The title conveys to us the truth of the Man who has come as the Last Adam. Here is the Man Whom God will have reign as a man over the entire creation.

Satan may well have thought that in his skillful and successful attempt at introducing sin into the Creatorial order by Adam, that he had foiled God’s plan for a man to reign over the earth. But with the advent of the Son of Man, the “seed of the woman,” God was making a clear statement that His plan and purposes were right on track. Here was the Man Who could and would reign. As the “Heir,” He would one day claim the inheritance.

Hebrews 2 makes it clear that “we see not yet all things put under to him” (v 8). When He came, the Son of Man had no place to lay His head. The birds of the air and the beasts of the field, creatures under His dominion, had homes and nests. But in contrast, He was not recognized and did not possess a stately home where He could live in His own creation.

Revelation 14 fast-forwards to an entirely different scene and set of circumstances. Now the Son of Man is asserting His rule over earth. The “harvest” time for earth has come (Matt 13:30). As Son of Man, He has dealt in chastening judgment with His own (Rev 1:13). Now His attention is directed to the “tares.” He is seen in judicial righteousness on a white cloud. As Son of Man, He has received authority to judge from the Father (John 5:22, 27).

The One Who had no place on earth on which to rest His head will return to gather out of earth all that offends and is not fit for His kingdom. He will then take the throne and the Kingdom. At His first advent He “owned” nothing here on earth. At His first advent, he had no place for His head; now that head is adorned with a golden crown. At His first advent, He had nowhere to lay His head; at His second advent, all things will be put in subjection beneath His feet (Heb 2:8). In the interval between, He “bowed His head” on a cross.

Consider

Look at places where the Lord Jesus did “lay his head.” The hinder part of the ship on a “pillow;” He “rested” His head at Calvary; and in a garden sepulcher (John 20:7).