The Gateway to Heaven

bethel

Scriptures

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. (John 1:51)

Observation

The statement of Jesus comes at the end of a chained series of calls. It begins with the Baptist pointing out the Lamb of God to two of his disciples and of this two staying with Jesus. The following day, these two disciples who have had an experience of Jesus call other people. The last to be called is Nathanael who comes to Jesus who then tells him about himself.

Jesus’ declaration to Nathanael harks back to the episode in Genesis where Jacob stays for a night in Luz and there has a dream of a ladder reaching to heaven. On this ladder, he saw angels ascending and descending (Gen. 28:12). In other words, the place where Jacob stayed for the night was a kind of way station for angels who bring messages to and from God. It was also there where God promised that Jacob will be a patriarch and that He will always be there for him. Jacob called the place Beth-el, “House of God”, where he also saw the gateway to heaven.

Jesus had just revealed Nathanael to himself. When Jesus said that Nathanael will see angels ascending and descending on him, he is saying: (a) that He is the gateway to heaven, (b) that all revelation from God now passes through Him, (c) that He is the new “Beth-el”, the new “House of God”, and finally, (d) he replaces Jacob as the new Israel.

Application

Jesus not only reveals man to himself, He also gives himself to each man as the gate to heaven, and as the revelation of God. Jesus does these to Nathanael who came to him called by another.

I came to the Lord called by the others that He has put in my way. I had a classmate in Grade 2 who in a way introduced me to the Sto. NiƱo. There was a girl in High School who introduced me to the Scriptures. Then there was the group of friends who introduced me to Marian devotion. It was through these encounters with other people that somehow I got to know the Lord who now continues to be the Way, the Truth and the Life for me.

Prayer

Lord, I thank you for the people you have put on my way to be the means for my encounter with You. Bless them as you have blessed me. Keep them always in your care so that even if I may not meet them again in this life, I may meet them again in the life to come.

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