Jacob’s Ladder and the Exclusivity of Christ (John 1:51)

John 1:51 (ESV)


And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”


            Knowing our Old Testament can help us to know some important things about Jesus and the gospel. Here, Jesus says something really strange about himself. Yet, if you know the book of Genesis, you will be able to see something fascinating that Jesus is claiming.


            When Jacob was running away from his family, he had a vision. You probably have heard of “Jacob’s ladder.” That is a reference to what Jacob saw in a dream in Genesis 28:12. There Jacob saw a structure, like a ladder or staircase, connecting heaven and earth. Angels of God were traveling between heaven and earth on that structure, and the Lord stood at the top declaring his promise and plan to Jacob.


            What does that knowledge bring to the table when we hear Jesus say to Nathanel that he would see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man, Jesus himself? In those words, Jesus is claiming to be the structure, the ladder, that Jacob saw. Obviously, Jesus is not an actual ladder. But, we can understand that, figuratively, what Jacob saw connecting God to mankind is what Jesus actually is.


            We learn, then, that there is one way that God is connected to humanity. It is through the person and work of Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate communication and completion of all of God’s promises. Jesus is the way that God speaks to humanity and works out his plan to rescue humanity.


            So, do you want to know God? Do you want to communicate with God? There is one way that God has given for this to be done. Know God through Jesus. Communicate with God by knowing Jesus. Connect to God through Jesus and Jesus alone. There is no other way.


            In our world, people are often offended when someone dares to make some sort of exclusive claim about their religion. However, Jesus is exclusive. He tells us time and time again in a variety of ways that he is the one God has promised. Jesus is the way to God. Jesus is the communication of God to man. Jesus is the person of God on earth. And we have no right, absolutely none, to demand that God make for us a different way to him.