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Daily Devotional John 1:43–51

In the summer of 2023 there were several days in the Midwest and on the East Coast of the United States when the air was filled with smoke from fires in Canada. One day in June it became so overcast that it looked like the clouds were touching the ground and blocking our view of the sky above. I kept wondering when will we see clearly again?

You will see “heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on” the Son of Man.

JOHN 1:51

In John chapter 1, Philip, a new disciple of Jesus, brought his friend Nathanael to meet Jesus. Prior to the meeting, Nathanael had asked Philip if anything good could come out of Nazareth (v. 46). When Jesus told Nathanael that He saw him under the fig tree, Nathanael knew for sure that Jesus was the Son of God, the King of Israel (v. 49). Jesus’ words transformed Nathanael from a skeptic to a believer instantaneously.

Then Jesus told Nathaniel that he would see “heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on” the Son of Man (v. 51). Centuries earlier, Jacob had a dream of a stairway that extended into the heavens. He saw the Lord at the top and angels ascending and descending (Gen. 28:12). Both men were given a vision of a staircase to heaven. While the two situations have similarities, they are also distinct. As one Bible commentator notes, “Jacob had guile (Gen. 27:35), but Nathanael had none. Jacob saw a staircase, but Jesus is the staircase. Jacob had a dream, but Jesus is the reality.”

>> Heaven is open to the believer in Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus we have direct access to the throne of God. The clouds have opened, and the way made clear. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16). What do you need from God? He’s accessible to you today through Jesus.

Pray with Us

For those struggling with loss and grief, this season with its emphasis on joy can be difficult. Lord, draw the bereaved close to You so they can find in You the strength and comfort they need.

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