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Jesus opens the door!

Text: John 1: 43-51

Focus: John 1:23

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, He said, "Here is a true Israelite." By saying this, in a sense, Jesus set Nathanael against all the Israelites.

The fact that in verse 51, Jesus refers to the dream that Jacob had at that time, shows us that He is alluding here that the rest of Israel is descended from Jacob.

Jacob deceived his father and brother to receive the blessing of the firstborn – a blessing that strictly belongs to the eldest brother Esau (Gen. 27). Later, he also deceived his father-in-law Laban by packing his belongings overnight and moving them away without telling him about it (also see Gen. 31:26).

In this we see that an honest and sincere Israelite became the exception rather than the rule in Israel.

The Gospels also emphasise the deception of the Pharisees and scribes. They pretend to be something that they are not. Before the people they are pious, but behind closed doors they make plans to kill Jesus (John 11: 47-54).

Today, it may be much worse. People cheat on each other and you hear of fraud all the time. We pretend to be something or someone else to satisfy our own selfish desires. We want more and bigger and better… because we think it will give us peace of mind. We hope this will be the answer to all our misery.

Now look at the wonderful peace of mind that Jesus gives Nathanael. When Jesus tells Nathanael that He had already seen him under the fig tree, Nathanael exclaims in amazement: "Rabbi, You are the Son of God."

Suddenly Nathanael experiences this intimate connection with Jesus and for him it was the proof that Jesus knows everything.

The great encouragement for us lies in Jesus' reaction to Nathanael's response.

Jesus takes Nathanael back in time to Jacob's dream; the same Jacob whose name means “deceiver”; the same Jacob who deceived everyone around him, just to get ahead in life.

We read in Genesis that Jacob saw in a dream a ladder standing on earth of which the tip touches heaven (also see Gen. 28: 12-14).

The meaning of the dream was that God would unlock the communion between Him and Jacob's generation. In God, Jacob will find what he so desperately sought… Perfect acceptance by God!

For Jacob it was just a dream, but for us it is a reality in Christ. We see Jesus coming to earth. He is treated as a cheater by dying on the cross in our place. But then He ascends to heaven again to be an intercessor for us in heaven.

Through Christ, our relationship with God has been restored. We have access to God again. In Jesus we get the opportunity to have that intimate fellowship with God. It makes us new – people who no longer need to deceive those around us.

We have received in Christ the peace that transcends all understanding. Therefore, use every opportunity to draw near to Him.

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