Saturday, May 2, 2015


The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 1:47-51
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Jesus sees; He sees our beginning, and our ending; He sees when we rise up in victory and fall in defeat. He sees our times of joy and sorrow - there is nothing about us that He doesn't see and know (PSALM 139:1-6) in His omniscience and omnipresence.

This is why the LORD was able to make such a declaration of Nathanael; He foreknew him because He created him and gave him his personality, character traits and behavioral tendencies. Even more so, He knew Nathanael as an "Israelite indeed" - that is, one who like those to whom God promised the land of Israel, here was a man of faith, a man  "without guile". The LORD recognizes His own, and His own know His voice and respond to it (JOHN 10:14-15).

Nathanael asked the LORD how was it that He knew him and the answer given already above is essentially the answer, but here in this passage, the LORD merely states that He saw him sitting under the fig tree - an act of divine clairvoyance (not at ALL related to that sort typically associated with occult practices!) - in perceiving Nathanael's location without actually being there.

Nathanael exclaims that this Man standing before him must be the Son of God, the King of Israel - and he is absolutely correct on both counts! This soon-to-be disciple speaks with alacrity and in a no-nonsense manner these things! 

Yet the LORD seems almost incredulous at this bold statement and assures him that he will see greater things than these; namely that he will " . . . see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." This harks back to Genesis 28 and a scene in the life of Jacob:

GEN. 28:10-19
10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

The LORD Jesus Christ declares to Nathanael, concerning Himself, that He is the ladder that leads to heaven, the very gate of heaven; that bequeaths His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Twelve Patriarchs, that leads us sinners to and on the road of righteousness via His own propitiatory sacrifice and indwelling Spirit to become saints and citizens of heaven!

Yet all the while Nathanael recognized something of the truth in what he declared regarding this Man from Galilee being the King of Israel, and the Son of God - it was by gradual revelation that he came into greater understanding of these truths.

So it is with us: With every gift of understanding we receive by the Holy Spirit in those mysteries of the Word, our doctrinal clarity becomes sharper and more refined within the framework of all Scripture, and as these various areas become clearer, we see more readily the ladder of heaven, the gateway to the LORD GOD - and it is the portrait of Jesus Christ! He is Himself the very House of God, that is the body that He was given, houses the whole of Deity and Person of God the Son (HEB. 10:5). He is the realization of Bethel and the vision that Jacob saw there.

May we, the saints of God, resort to that heavenly domain by the LORD Who is the ladder and gateway, to the very throne of God and His grace, in blessed fellowship, communing in the House of God: the LORD Jesus Christ!

The next JEWEL in JOHN's GOSPEL is from JOHN 2:1-2, entitled Marriage Invite to the Messiah! Until then, may the LORD bless us all - way too much!

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