A Question About Jesus

Why does Jesus always talk in the third person when predicting his own death?
First of all, we need to remember that Jesus spoke by the authority of the Father… even concerning himself (John 14:10).  So speaking in the 3rd person was done in reference to the Messiah, as described by the authoritative word of God.  Jesus didn’t draw people to himself apart from the Father, or simply by his own miraculous works, but instead he relied on the Father, through the work of the Spirit, to supernaturally reveal the person of Christ.  This is why Jesus would tell people, “say nothing to anyone [about who healed you]” (Matt. 8:4).  He didn’t want followers because he gave them a healing, or some free fish and chips.  “Followers,” with these motives alone, are not true followers who possess genuine saving faith.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me…”  – John 6:35-38
Jesus knew that true belief (which leads to eternal life) is a spiritual revelation, and not a natural decision or personal realization (John 1:12-14).  Healing and miracles give evidence to Jesus being from God, but they also could appeal to people on a natural level… and salvation is not a natural choice, or simply following after someone for natural benefits.  No, true belief is a supernatural revelation concerning the reality of Jesus, and so this is why he said, “you have seen me” (you’ve seen my miracles and “believe” in me for those things)…” and yet [you] do not [really, or rightly] believe [in me].”  True belief comes about by the Father’s sovereign will, as He alone gives people to Jesus.
So, in light of this, Jesus didn’t simply tell his disciples (by his own authority) who he was, but instead he spoke in the 3rd person, allowing the prophecies of Scripture to authoritatively speak concerning his true nature, and bring about true belief in the biblical Messiah.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  – Matthew 16:13–17

Notice how Jesus begins by asking who the Son of Man is… and then, who they believe he is.  Jesus is making a connection to between himself and this recognized OT title, and then furthermore, he points out that the source of their right identification was ultimately a supernatural gift from the Father.
Think also about the title he used in speaking of himself in the 3rd person.  “The Son of Man” is a title used all throughout the Old Testament, concerning the Messiah – one who is not simply a conquering king (which was the wrong expectation of his disciples), but one who is also the suffering servant that would bear the curse of sin, and die.
Once again, Jesus is not speaking for himself, but is submitting to the authority of his Father, in the Scriptures, so that he might be identified as the Son of Man – allowing for spiritual revelation to occur (by the Spirit, through the Word), so that his disciples would truly understand, and truly believe in him.
So when speaking of his death, Jesus would frequently speak in the 3rd person, using the recognized title, “Son of Man.  He did this to reveal his true nature as Messiah, and also because he was submitted to the Father’s authority to supernaturally speak concerning His Son.
– Pastor Brian