And he said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.…
This expression is so constantly used with reference to Ezekiel that it cannot be considered a mere Oriental idiom with no peculiar significance. There were special reasons why Ezekiel, as the prophet chosen to communicate God's will to Israel, should be thus designated.
I. TRUE HUMANITY IN THE PROPHET ENABLED HIM TO HOLD COMMUNION WITH THE FATHER OF SPIRITS. Man is God's chosen vehicle for communicating with man. The ministry of angels is a reality, but such ministry is subordinate to that which is strictly human. Man is made in the likeness of God, and shares in the Divine reason. His highest thinking, it was grandly said by Kepler, is thinking over again the thoughts of God. It is in virtue of this prerogative that human beings are able to enter into the counsels of the Eternal Wisdom. The inferior inhabitants of this globe may indeed express in their structure the designs of the Creator. But man is more than the creature; he is the child of the heavenly Father, who calls his children to share in the revelation of his own character and will. And certain selected individuals, notably those designated "prophets," are admitted into special relations with the Infinite Spirit, that they may be made the medium of carrying out his purposes of wisdom and of love.
II. THE PROPHET'S TRUE HUMANITY ENABLED HIM TO ENTER INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND NEEDS OF THOSE TO WHOM HE MINISTERED. The prophets sprang from the people, and knew them from familiar intercourse and intimacy; they knew their sins and weaknesses, their temptations and struggles. Some, like Elijah and John the Baptist, led a life secluded and ascetic - only now and again coming forth from their retirement and mingling with their countrymen for some special purpose. But others lived amongst those whom they had known in childhood and youth, and made themselves acquainted with their temporal condition and their spiritual wants. It seems to have been so with Ezekiel. And as participation in common sorrows and sufferings often draws men closer together, it is reasonable to believe that comrades in exile were upon terms of closest fellowship and correspondence. The prophet knew well, in virtue of a common nature and a common lot, the people amongst whom he dwelt, and to whom he was called to minister.
III. THE PROPHET'S TRUE HUMANITY RENDERED HIS MINISTRY SYMPATHETIC, AUTHORITATIVE, AND EFFECTIVE. Men may see much of one another, may be brought frequently into contact with one another, and yet may have little mutual knowledge, and even feel little interest in one another's experiences. But this was not the case with Ezekiel, who did not harden his heart against even the disobedient, rebellious, and unresponsive, but, on the contrary, cultivated, as a man, a spirit of true brotherhood with his fellow men. He was deeply pained when it was his duty to threaten or to denounce; he was sincerely glad when it was given him to speak words of kindness and encouragement. There was, in consequence of this human sympathy, an especial authoritativeness in his prophetic ministrations. What he said and did went home, in many cases, to the hearts of those whom he addressed; because they interpreted his words and deeds in the light of his spirit and character.
IV. THE PROPHET WAS THUS A TYPE OF CHRIST HIMSELF, WHO WAS WONT TO DESIGNATE HIMSELF THE SON OF MAN. Perfect Man as well as perfect God, the Lord Christ entered into the position of those whom he came to save. Like Ezekiel, the Lord Jesus came to a captive people; like Ezekiel, he addressed to them words of reproach, words of warning, words of consolation, words of hope. He did more than this: he bore their sins, and carried their sorrows. And thus he brought deliverance to the bondmen, opened the prison doors, and bade the oppressed go free. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.