Read: Genesis 28:10-22; John 1:47-51
Reflect: In the Bible God often used familiar things from everyday life to teach us important truths. Even the simple imagery of a staircase can tell us something. We’ve all been on a ladder or used a set of stairs in our lives. What are these physical devices designed to do? It’s very simple. They get us physically from one level to another. If you want to go up to the second floor of a house, you walk up the stairs. If you want to get onto the roof, you climb up a ladder.
In Genesis 28, God uses the imagery of stairs or a ladder, depending on which Bible version you are reading, to illustrate a great spiritual truth. Yahweh was assuring Jacob that the promises made to the fathers would be fulfilled and that God would always be with him. The stairway was a symbol for the access man could have to the Father in heaven. The angels are symbolized as messengers taking our needs to God in heaven and bringing down the help that God promises and the protection He provides.
Notice, humanity is not confined to the first floor. We can take the stairs to the second floor. We now have access to God and one day have access to heaven. In John chapter 1 Jesus used the imagery of Jacob’s dream at Bethel to illustrate to Nathanael and the disciples that He is the only way to God. He is in effect the stairway to God the Father and the future promise of heaven. In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to Israel (Jacob), the man and the nation, in a dream. In the New Testament, He would reveal Himself to a true Israelite, Nathanael, and to all of Israel, through Jesus Christ the Messiah. Jesus alone gives access to all and refuses none.
Apply: Heaven is available to everyone who wants to go there. In a world of hopelessness, Jesus offers hope. It’s as effortless as stepping onto an escalator and letting Jesus take you to the next level. All we have to do is to place our faith in Him as your Savior. If you have already made that decision, then you now have the great privilege and responsibility to show others where the stairs are.