WEEK OF LENT REFLECTIONS
FLASHES OF GOD'S GLORY...THE LADDER
KNOWING THAT WE AREN'T ALONE
Read Genesis 28: 10-22
Read John 1: 43-51
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
In John 1, Jesus connects his own ministry to the story of Jacob’s ladder- claiming that Nathaniel will see some of the same vision Jacob did simply by following Jesus. Nathaniel is invited walk with Christ, to just open his eyes, and see how he is not alone.
One of the questions many of us end up asking ourselves over and over in this life is “Who am I now?”
-As a kid when our school years come to an end we ask “who am I now?”
-When we get married we ask “who am I now?”
-When children come and children leave…
-When our job changes or we retire….
-When we get sick or our bodies just stop working as well as they used to…
-When a loved one leaves us or dies…
Life changes and we wonder in the midst of those changes, “who am I now?”
I am sure that the the men and women of faith we read about in Scripture found themselves asking that same question. But seldom do they seem to get a clear answer to that question from God.
-Jesus didn’t tell tell Nathaniel who Nathaniel was. Instead, Jesus just told Nathaniel that he was seen by Jesus and that there was more to see.
-God didn’t tell Jacob who Jacob was in that dream with the ladder… Instead God just told Jacob who God was, that He had plan for Jacob, and would be with him.
God seems less concerned with “who we are now” and much more concerned with helping us remembering “whose we are.” And in belonging to God that we are not alone.
Poem: Jacob’s Ladder by John Newton
If the Lord our leader be,
We may follow without fear;
East or West, by land or sea,
Home, with him, is everywhere;
When from Esau Jacob fled,
Though his pillow was a stone,
And the ground his humble bed,
Yet he was not left alone.
Kings are often waking kept,
Racked with cares on beds of state;
Never king like Jacob slept.
For he lay at heaven’s gate:
Lo! he saw a ladder reared,
Reaching to the heav’nly throne;
At the top the Lord appeared,
Spake and claimed him for his own.
Fear not, Jacob, thou art mine,
And my presence with thee goes;
On thy heart my love shall shine,
And my arm subdue thy foes:
From my promise comfort take;
For my help in trouble call;
Never will I thee forsake,
‘Till I have accomplished all.
Well does Jacob’s ladder suit
To the gospel throne of grace;
We are at the ladder’s foot,
Every hour, in every place
By affirming flesh and blood,
Jesus heav’n and earth unites;
We by faith ascend to God,
God to dwell with us delights.
They who know the Saviour’s name,
Are for all events prepared
What can changes do to them,
Who have such a Guide and Guard?
Should they traverse earth around,
To the ladder still they come;
Every spot is holy ground,
God is there - and he’s their home.