Jacobs LadderBro. David Chancellor
4/25/2004 11:00 AM
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
This begins to tell the story of the life of Jesus. It gives a picture of how man can progress in relationship to God. Nathanael was skeptical of the heritage of Christ. Jesus called him a plainspoken Israelite.
The real first step of religion is to realize that God knows us. Many in heathen lands progress this far. This often brings a dread and fear of an angry God.
We want to consider what verse 51 means. Jesus was here explaining Jacobs Ladder. He was explaining that he was the go-between for God and man. This is greater than the knowledge that God sees me. Christ was giving them a picture of what his work was. He was showing them that man could have a relationship with God.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
Jesus had just done a miraculous work on the Sabbath day. Some had a problem with this. Jesus said, I just do what God does. He was following Gods leadership and example. Jesus came so that we could look on the Father and do as he does. We can do as he does by following his example by his power.
The disciples saw the dead being raised. That was pretty big, but Jesus came to give life to the spiritually dead. Its something greater for the Son of man to quicken the spiritually dead. We live in the day of the greater work. Jesus came so that we could see God. Hes able to quicken whomever he will; Jesus will is that whosoever will would be saved.
Philip saith unto him, Lord shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus answered him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe in me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Philip said, Show us the Father. Jesus answered, You mean you havent seen him? The Father was in Christ. If youve known Jesus, you know the Father. These had something more to take in. Jesus said that we could do what he did. Our belief needs to get beyond a sign. Many dont seek after God until they know him. Pursue God until you know him.
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young mans feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen had come to know God, and he was put to death by these because of it. He was able to see God and to do like Jesus. Stephen saw God and he did just like Jesus had done he forgave those who killed him. We can know God and do just like Jesus would do. Its not enough to ask, What would Jesus do? We need to do what Jesus would do. This is why Jesus came. Too many peoples religion stops with God knows me. They think that God will excuse them. We need to do as Jesus would do. Ask God to help you to do. Hell give you what you need to do right. Too many people dont ask God for what they need. You can do what God wants you to do when you come to know him. We need to be able to see God and to know him. We can be impressed by the presence of God.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Were able to behold the glory of the Lord. Jesus brought Gods glory to us. God can know man, and now, man can know God, too. We now have liberty to do as Jesus did. It causes us to want to be like him. We can be set free from sin. Were not bound by sin. The Spirit of the Lord gave liberty to live the life of Christ. We can behold the Father by the Spirit of God. We can do his works, and cease from our works. We can do this by Gods Holy Spirit. Jesus came so that there could be some greater works done than had been done before. We can have liberty to do like Jesus. John said, Weve found something greater. Its the life of Christ within, and lived out in us. We can know Jesus and be like him.