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But that rather proves my point. John stands apart from what I regard as the Jewish-apocalyptic mainstream of the New Testament. John’s Son of Man descends from and ascends to heaven; he does not come at a future parousia to establish his kingdom and vindicate his followers. John’s narrative is closer to the later Gnostic redeemer myths than to the Jewish argument about the coming reign of YHWH over the nations.

Clearly at some point the church had to resolve the tensions between these two stories about Jesus, but I’m not sure we find the resolution in the New Testament.

Your comment about others acting in the authority of God is answered by Jesus’ use of Psalm 110:1:

And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly. (Mark 12:35–37)

David died and his body saw corruption, but Jesus was raised by the Father and seated at his right hand and given a greater and more enduring authority than David ever had (Acts 2:29-36). Even then, we have to allow that his reign as king throughout the coming ages was not quite unique—in the apocalyptic tradition the martyrs are given the right to reign with him (Rev. 20:4-6).

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