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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 1 - Verse 51
Verily, verily. In the Greek, Amen, amen. The word amen
means truly, certainly, so be it—from the verb to confirm, to establish, to be true. It is often used in this gospel. When repeated it expresses the speaker's sense of the importance of what he is saying, and the certainty that it is as he affirms.
Ye shall see
. Not, perhaps, with the bodily eyes, but you shall have evidence that it is so. The thing shall take place, and you shall be a witness of it.
: "He opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna." It also denotes that God was about to work a miracle in attestation of a particular thing. See Mt 3:16. In the language, here, there is an evident allusion to the ladder that Jacob saw in a dream, and to the angels ascending and descending on it, Ge 18:12. It is not probable that Jesus referred to any particular instance in which Nathanael should literally see the heavens opened, The baptism of Jesus had taken place, and no other instance occurred in his life in which it is said that the
Angels of God. Those pure and holy beings that dwell in heaven, and that are employed as ministering spirits to our world, Heb 1:14.
They are the agents by which God often expressed his will to men, Heb 2:2; Ga 3:19. They are represented as strengthening the Lord Jesus, and ministering unto him. Thus they aided him in the wilderness (Mr 1:13), and in the garden (Lu 22:43), and they were present when he rose from the dead, Mt 28:2-4; Joh 20:12,13.
By their ascending and descending upon him it is probable that he meant that Nathanael would have evidence that they came to his aid, and that he would have
the KIND of protection and assistance from God which would show more fully that he was the Messiah
. Thus his life, his many deliverances from dangers, his wisdom to confute his skilled and cunning adversaries, the scenes of his death, and the attendance of angels at his resurrection, may all be represented by the angels descending upon him, and all would show to Nathanael and the other disciples most clearly that he was the Son of God.
From this interview with Nathanael we may learn,
1st. That Jesus searches the heart.
2nd. That he was truly the Messiah.
3rd. That he was under the protection of God.
4th. That if we have faith in Jesus, it will be continually strengthened—the evidence will grow brighter and brighter.
5th. That if we believe his
, we shall yet see full proof that his word is true.
6th. As Jesus was under the protection of God, so will all his friends be. God will defend and save us also if we put our trust in him.
7th. Jesus applied to himself terms expressive of humility. He was not solicitous even to be called by titles which he
might claim. So we should not be ambitious of titles and honours. Ministers of the gospel must resemble him when they seek for the fewest titles, and do not aim at distinctions from each other or their brethren. See Barnes "Mt 23:8".
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