Day 3: Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Written by Pastor Kelsey
Take a moment to pause, be still, and prepare your heart and mind to receive God’s word.
READ: John 1:43-51
When I was a little girl, I was led to the Lord through the faithfulness of a Sunday school teacher and the simplicity of a 90s flannelgraph. The image is still crystal clear in my mind: Jesus, with arms outstretched, standing at the gate of heaven. I remember the idea of heaven being of particular concern for me at a young age. What would it look like? What would I do? Where exactly is it?
This fascination goes beyond childhood wonder – there are many books, movies, and tv shows exploring the concept of heaven and the afterlife. But I love how it is depicted here in this passage. When Nathanael realizes he is face-to-face with the Messiah he has heard about since childhood, he proclaims Jesus as “the Son of God—the King of Israel!” (Sidenote: as a Jew, Nathanael was not just declaring Jesus a king, but as his King.)
Then Jesus gives this beautiful promise: you will see greater things. He follows this by a picture of angels ascending and descending on… himself? Those who participated in yesterday’s reading will recognize this imagery from Genesis – Nathanael probably did as well! But what does Jesus mean by it?
Jesus is heaven brought down to earth. The God of heaven is now accessible to us through the Son of Man. He is everything our hearts yearn for… the mysteries of heaven are eternally revealed in him. What better picture do we have of heaven than of Jesus Christ himself?
When you think about heaven, what comes to mind? How do you see Jesus revealing the hope of heaven throughout Scripture?
In Matthew 6:10 we are instructed to pray, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Pray through this line today as you reflect on Jesus being heaven on earth.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live like Jesus. Are there ways you see Jesus living as the hope of heaven in Scripture that we can do today? Brainstorm this as a family, and then pick one to do together.