The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 95 of 181
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do with life and death, the kingdom and service, or the Lord's Own relationship with the
Father and the believer. For example, he may observe that the fourteenth reference is the
great "I am" passage (8: 58). So far as the present series is concerned, however, we
have enough in hand to cope with the first of these double Amens, the study of which will
more than occupy our available space.
When attempting to show the way in which John refers to Christ as the Word, and the
Word made flesh, we said, speaking of the philosophical use of logos and the failure of
human wisdom,
"As we realize the immensity of the gulf that yawned between the far-off Platonist
God, and the things of time and sense, we may perhaps better understand why the Lord
used the figure of Jacob's ladder as representing Himself in John 1: 51" (Vol. 19:, p.98).
At the top, as it were, of Nathaniel's opening confession stands "The Son of God". At
the bottom stands the Lord's own assumption, "The Son of man". Jacob, before he
became "an Israelite indeed" (for he had manifested considerable guile), was vouchsafed
the vision of Bethel.
"He dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top reached to heaven;
and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold the Lord
stood above it" (Gen. 28: 12, 13).
The Rabbis have allowed their fancy full rein in connection with Jacob's ladder, and
while it would be waste of space to five quotations from their speculations, their
prevalence would make the Lord's allusion to Jacob's ladder quite reasonable in
Nathaniel's ears. The bringing of heaven and earth together, the placing of the
Son of God at the one extreme and the Son of man at the other, is perhaps the most
important feature of the imagery.
With the testimony of Nathaniel the opening witness to the person and work of Christ
comes to a close.  We now approach the great central portion of the Gospel,
chapters 2: 1 - 21: 14, and the witness we shall there hear will be not only that of men,
but of miracle; not only the testimony of fallible flesh and blood, but of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. To this great theme we must now address ourselves,
and we hope that in doing so many hours of delightful fellowship will be ours in tracing
the testimony of the eight signs up to their evangelical conclusion, "Life in His name"
(John 20: 31).