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John 1:51 & meaning...


certainly, I tell you, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

John 1:51


John 1 [47.] Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said about him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

John 1 [48.] Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

John 1 [49.] Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel!”

John 1 [50.] Jesus answered him, “Because I told you, ‘I saw you underneath the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these!” He said to him, “Most certainly, I tell you, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” 

John 2 [1.] The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.”


This statement by Jesus is part of His interaction with Nathanael, who had initially expressed skepticism about Jesus being the Messiah (John 1:46). However, upon meeting Jesus, Nathanael's doubts are dispelled, and he acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God and the King of Israel (John 1:49).

Jesus' response to Nathanael's confession is significant. By referring to Himself as the "Son of Man," Jesus is using a title that has Messianic connotations, derived from the vision of Daniel in the Old Testament (Daniel 7:13-14). In that vision, Daniel sees one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, and he is given dominion, glory, and an everlasting kingdom.

By applying this title to Himself, Jesus is affirming His identity as the promised Messiah, who has come to establish God's kingdom on earth. Furthermore, Jesus declares that Nathanael and the other disciples will witness heavenly signs confirming His divine identity and authority.

The imagery of "heaven opened" and "the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man" echoes the story of Jacob's ladder in the Old Testament (Genesis 28:10-22). In that story, Jacob has a dream in which he sees a ladder set up on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. God speaks to Jacob, reaffirming the covenant promises made to Abraham and Isaac and promising His presence and protection.

By alluding to this story, Jesus is making a profound statement about His own role in God's plan of salvation. He is declaring Himself to be the ultimate connection between heaven and earth, the bridge between God and humanity. Through Him, God's blessings and messages are communicated and received, and access to the heavenly realms is made possible.

Additionally, Jesus' statement foreshadows the miraculous signs and wonders that His disciples would witness throughout His ministry. From the turning of water into wine (John 2:1-11) to the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44), Jesus' ministry was marked by displays of divine power and authority, confirming His identity as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

In conclusion, John 1:51 is a powerful declaration by Jesus of His divine identity and authority as the Son of Man. It affirms His role as the promised Messiah and the ultimate connection between heaven and earth. As we reflect on this verse, may we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and King, and may we trust in Him as the one who brings heaven's blessings to earth and invites us into intimate communion with God.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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