It's All About Jesus

Scripture: John 1:51, ‘I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.’

 

Observations: In the Greek Jesus uses the Hebrew words ‘Amen, Amen,’ which most versions translate as ‘truly, truly.’ In Hebrew using the same word twice makes a superlative, so a legitimate translation could be ‘I tell you the absolute truth.’ Jesus uses this phrase to reinforce the authenticity and reliability of what he is about to say. The first thing he says, is that ‘you (the disciples) shall see heaven open.’ When heaven opens we get a glimpse of God and his glory. This is a common theme in the Old Testament i.e. Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 etc. Jesus here specifically refers to Genesis 28:12, where Jacob has a dream where he sees heaven open ‘and the angels of God ascending and descending on a stairway.’ Some scholars believe that a better translation would be that the angels were ascending and descending on Jacob, rather than the stairway. God affirms his covenantal love with Jacob by sending angels to protect him and care for him. In the same way God affirms his love for Jesus. In a sense Jesus is saying that he is the new Israel, the fulfilment of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It’s worth noting that Jacob named that pace, Bethel, the place where God lived, but now God lives with us in the person of Jesus Christ, which is John’s point in verse 14. Finally, Jesus refers to himself as ‘the Son of Man.’ This was a Messianic title from Dan 7:13, but one that wasn’t politically loaded like ‘King of Israel’ or ‘King of the Jews.’

 

Application: In Jesus we see open heaven and God revealed. In Jesus God lives in bodily form. Like Jacob was the father of God’s old covenant people, so Jesus becomes the head of God’s new covenant people, the New Israel, the Church. What do you see in Jesus? Do you see a good man, a good teacher, a miracle worker? Or do you see the absolute truth – that he is God, that he is the fulfilment of God’s promises and purposes, that he is the Christ? Nathaniel saw something great in Jesus, but Jesus wanted him to see something even greater, and he wants us to see that same thing also.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may You give me a vision of Your Son, that isn’t just great, but that is greater than I could ever imagine. Lord, may I see Jesus as he truly is, in all His glory and majesty. May I not just worship Him as my Saviour, but as my Lord and King, as the One through whom all things have their being, and who deserves all glory and praise. May Jesus and His honour become the focus of all that I do. For the praise of His name I pray. Amen.

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