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Truly, truly; You shall see heaven opened

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posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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“Truly, truly, I say to you; you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”- John ch1 v51

Jesus was fond of using the phrase “Truly I say to you”, but this “double” version, with the repeated AMEN, is found only in John’s gospel.
He seems to use it to mark the statements which he wants people to remember.

In this case, Jesus is addressing Nathanael.
The background of the conversation is that Jesus “found” and summoned Philip, who then “found” Nathanael and told him about Jesus.
He assured him that Jesus was the one foretold in the law and the prophets. The implication is that they had talked about this question before. Philip now thought he had found the answer.

Nathanael doesn’t take this very seriously. He asks “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
I think he means that Nazareth is too local and well-known. He is unconsciously expecting a great spiritual figure to come from somewhere more exotic. The people of Nazareth themselves had exactly the same difficulty; how could they believe in someone they had known since childhood?
Philip doesn’t try to argue the point. A meeting with Jesus himself will be more convincing than anything he can say.

As Nathanael approaches, Jesus hails him as an Israelite in the true sense (ALETHOS), one “in whom is no guile”.
In other words, he is a better representative of God’s people Israel than Jacob, whose life was built upon guile at the expense of others.
Perhaps we can see another contrast; according to the story, Jacob won the name Israel (“prince of God”) after a night of “wrestling with God”.
Nathanael’s name means “gift of God”.
So Nathanael is willing (this implies) to accept whatever comes from God, instead of seeking to control him.
This, too, is a better foundation for establishing an Israel.

But where did Jesus get his knowledge of Nathanael?
His answer was that he had seen Nathanael “before Philip called you, when you were under the fig-tree”.
This must refer to some incident which only Nathanael could have known about.
That was enough to convince him that Jesus must have special knowledge, which could only be available to “the Son of God, the king of Israel”.

It’s worth noting, incidentally, that Philip’s calling of Nathanael also echoes one of the Old Testament prophecies;
“In that day, says the Lord of Hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbour under his vine and under his fig-tree”- Zechariah ch3 v10

Then Jesus makes the promise which I’ve already quoted;
“You will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”.

This continues the comparison with Jacob.
When Jacob was in flight from Esau’s wrath, he stopped for the night at the place which later became Bethel.
There he had a night-vision, in which he saw a ladder (or perhaps a staircase) between earth and heaven.
The angels of God were ascending and descending upon that ladder, going about his business in the world.
And that was one of the signs of the presence of God.

The vision which Nathanael has been promised has one vital difference.
The angels will be ascending and descending “upon the Son of Man”, that is upon Jesus himself.
He takes the place of the staircase between heaven and earth.
Therefore the message is that the Son of Man has become the point of contact between heaven and earth, between God and man.
He has become the channel of God’s work in the world (which the angels represent).
The recollection of Jacob’s vision also implies the climax of Jacob’s vision, namely the Lord’s promise that “I will be with you and will keep you wherever you go”.

Nathanael represents those who will be able to recognise the Son of Man as the channel between heaven and earth, and God’s representative in the world.
That qualifies him to replace Jacob as the symbolic founder of a new Israel, a more “truthful” Israel.
And this function of the Son of Man is evidently one of the first things that Jesus wants his disciples to remember.




posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI When the tent was ripped it was for good. Sort of.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 05:26 PM
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a reply to: kenzohattori69 Oh yeah, and your rent is almost due.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 06:48 PM
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posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 06:49 PM
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posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 06:57 PM
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posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: TonyS
snip

... the subject of this thread is the meaning of the second half of John ch1.
You have some opinions to offer on the best interpretation of the text?


edit on 4/24/2015 by Blaine91555 because: removed reply to off topic remark



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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ATTENTION:

Please keep the conversation limited to the topic and each other is NEVER THE TOPIC.

Do not reply to this post.



Blaine91555
Moderator



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

vv.50-51 suggest Jesus' glorification. by evoking the dream of Jacob, in which the patriarch saw a ladder linking heaven and earth whereby the angels of God descended (Gen 28:62), and by his reference to the Son of man (cf. Dan7:13), this passage reveals how Christ will attain his glory through his death on the cross. Thus is made known that through his death Jesus will become the judge who will judge the world (the Son of man) and the way of salvation that will take men to heaven, (the ladder). Ref. The Navarre Bible: New Testament.

So what? Do you have any idea how incredibly arcane, ne', obscure this information is to the typical anti-Christian, god-hating pseudo-intellectual modernist ? Its akin to parsing out fine golden thread as a desert to a goat. Its rich, but has no meaning or value to them. Only to believers can it possibly have any value. The profundity of the depth is unfathomable. And yet, you offer it up on a platter, out of context and with no explanation. It would be like someone publishing pages 603 and 604 of the Safety Manual for a Navy Nuclear Reactor and asking for comment. The only reason to do so is to bait people who know something of the subject into commenting thereupon so that those who hate Nuclear anything can ridicule them.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:29 PM
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originally posted by: TonyS
vv.50-51 suggest Jesus' glorification. by evoking the dream of Jacob, in which the patriarch saw a ladder linking heaven and earth whereby the angels of God descended (Gen 28:62), and by his reference to the Son of man (cf. Dan7:13), this passage reveals how Christ will attain his glory through his death on the cross. Thus is made known that through his death Jesus will become the judge who will judge the world (the Son of man) and the way of salvation that will take men to heaven, (the ladder). Ref. The Navarre Bible: New Testament.

... Only to believers can it possibly have any value... And yet, you offer it up on a platter, out of context and with no explanation.

You will find my explanation incorporated into the OP, full running commentary.
You are right in thinking that it only has value for believers. It is only meant for believers.
It's called a theological discussion.

The real object of the OP is the moral presented in the final paragraph;

Nathanael represents those who will be able to recognise the Son of Man as the channel between heaven and earth, and God’s representative in the world.

I invite you to reflect on the significance of this.
Don't bother, of course, if it doesn't interest you.

edit on 24-4-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

The real object of the OP is the moral presented in the final paragraph; Nathanael represents those who will be able to recognize the Son of Man as the channel between heaven and earth, and God’s representative in the world. I invite you to reflect on the significance of this. Don't bother, of course, if it doesn't interest you.

The significance is simply that only those who are called through the Grace of God will recognize the Son of man as the intermediary. The sheep know the Shepard and the Shepard recognizes and welcomes all his sheep but not the goats.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:44 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I was a waiting for the practical application of what Jesus said. Imo, it just means some people will get a glimpse of the world beyond this.

No need to take it down around the corner and into the parking lot.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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a reply to: TonyS
The relation between "calling" and conscious decision is a complex one, isn't it?
On the one hand, there are many references to God choosing those who will come to him.
On the other hand, we're also invited to make our own response, and it would certainly feel like a conscious decision.
So another way to see the conclusion is to see it as a warning against NOT recognising the Son of Man as our intermediary with heaven.


edit on 24-4-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:48 PM
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a reply to: intrptr
As I was just observing to somebody else, the practical application is that if the Son of Man (i.e. Jesus) is our intermediary with heaven, we have a need to recognise that, and not neglect to treat him as such.
It begins a long sequence of presentations of that theme all through John's gospel.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

He awaits our response. A calling without a response is null. Conscious? Perhaps. Is falling in love a conscious response?



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 07:57 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


As I was just observing to somebody else, the practical application is that if the Son of Man (i.e. Jesus) is our intermediary with heaven, we have a need to recognize that, and not neglect to treat him as such.

More like recognize him as an example of how to live our lives. Instead of an intermediary, more like a teacher. Instead of a god head, more like a reference to find out how to do what he did.

The mark of success of that is to become as a son of god, to have the heavens opened to us, through the conduit of our own soul.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: TonyS
Frankly, the connection between the calling and the response is mysterious.
But then so is the connection between the divinity and humanity of Christ.
So I always say that if we can accept, without understanding, Christ being God and man at the same time, we can accept our coming to God being God's choice and our own choice at the same time.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 08:07 PM
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a reply to: intrptr
I would have thought that substituting the Son of Man for the "ladder" in the Jacob vision was definitely intended to present him as an intermediary. But I'm also influenced here by recent reading of some of the later passages in John which are presenting the same thought. The effect accumulates.



edit on 24-4-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 08:22 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: intrptr
I would have thought that substituting the Son of Man for the "ladder" in the Jacob vision is definitely intended to present him as an intermediary. But I'm also influenced here by recent reading of some of the later passages in John which are presenting the same thought. The effect accumulates.


Trying to understand you here, the "ladder" representing…?

Do the angels 'ascend and descend' by wings? Or ladders?

My problem with interpreting texts and "visions" people in the past had is I don't know where to draw the line between 'visions' of the future from the spirit and visions of the spirit world.

I try to keep it simple in this regard. I don't see why they would need 'ladders' in the spirit world, for instance. And if it didn't appear as a ladder, why call it such? Why deceive about matters of the spirit? If inaccurate or not understanding what was "seen" then why not say "like a ladder" or ladder like?

Some biblical references speak of things "symbolically" they claim, but I see them describing the future (the time in which we live), many things here we take for granted would confuse people from the past.

Pretty hard to be confused about a ladder, though.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 08:52 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
I try to keep it simple in this regard. I don't see why they would need 'ladders' in the spirit world, for instance. And if it didn't appear as a ladder, why call it such? Why deceive about matters of the spirit? If inaccurate or not understanding what was "seen" then why not say "like a ladder" or ladder like?

No, angels don't need ladders.
But humans do need visual images to help them understand what is going on.
The ladder was there in Jacob's vision to help him understand the concept of "angels going up and down".
The angels were depicted as "going up and down" to help him to grasp the idea of God actively working in the world, continuously.

So the verbal act of replacing the visionary ladder with the Son of Man has the effect of identifying the Son of Man as the agent of God's working in the world.
It intends to show that God is working through him, just as the original image showed God as working through the angels.

edit on 24-4-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



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