Who is this Jesus? Do you remember when Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 16:13, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Pastor and author Kevin DeYoung writes and talks about this question. I want you to listen to what he says. The question is doubly crucial in our day because no one is more popular in the United States than Jesus–and not every Jesus is the real Jesus.
There’s the Republican Jesus who’s against tax increases and activist judges and for family values and owning firearms. There’s the Democratic Jesus who is against Wall Street and Wal-Mart, but he’s for reducing our carbon footprint and printing more money. There’s the therapist Jesus who helps us cope with life’s problems, heals our past, tells us how valuable we are, and encourages us not to be so hard on ourselves. There’s the Starbucks Jesus who drinks fair-trade coffee, loves spiritual conversation, drives a Hybrid, and goes to film festivals. There’s the open-minded Jesus who loves everyone all the time no matter what, except for those who are not as open-minded as he is. There’s the martyr Jesus, a good man who died a cruel death so we could feel sorry for him. There’s the gentle Jesus who was meek and mild and had very high cheekbones, flowing hair, and walked around barefoot wearing a sash. There’s the hippie Jesus who teaches everyone to give peace a chance, imagines a world without religion, and helps us remember that all you need is love.
You get the idea. He goes on and on with this, and I think he’s really hit on something. I’ve discovered that most people have the wrong image of who Jesus is. Jesus so often for so many is just a reflection of their current mood. I’m in a bad mood, so I feel bad and Jesus is always upset with somebody about something. We get in our mind that Jesus just reflects our mood. He’s the Jesus of my mood. Others have this projection of Jesus that meets their latest fad. I’ve watched this through the years and it would be comical if it were not so sad. We’re in the fad of going on mission trips, so that’s all Jesus is. He’s just the mission-going Jesus! That’s the only kind of Jesus that He is! Then they move back and get into something else. He’s the Jesus of courtship and not dating, so that’s the Jesus that He is and that’s all he is until they move to another fad. None of those things are wrong. I’m not saying that. But, we get in our mind that He’s just the Jesus of the latest fad.
John has been trying to show us since John 1:1 who Jesus really is, and now we come down to the last couple of verses of chapter one. He’s laying a foundation in this Gospel of who Jesus is. This morning, you’re going to see who the real Jesus is, what He does, and what He means as it relates to three specific people: Peter, Philip and Nathanael.
Take your copy of God’s Word and look with me at John 1:40. I want you to see something about Jesus–the real Jesus. Not the Jesus of your mood. Not the Jesus of whatever you happen to be into at the moment. I want you to see something about the real Jesus.
The real Jesus knew you before you ever knew Him. This is pretty fascinating to me. Do you remember two weeks ago when we looked at those two disciples who followed Jesus, went with Him, and were dramatically changed? It was Andrew and we believe the other to be John. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon Peter. Verse 41 says, “He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah,’ (which translated means Christos, or Christ).”
Or the Anointed One is literally what the word means.
Verse 42 says, “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him...”
Folks, let me tell you something. I’m going to do more preaching this morning than I can possibly get in. I’m going to do more teaching than I am preaching. You see that word ‘look’ right there? There are probably six words in the Greek language for look and about a dozen words for see. Every one of them has its own nuance, and it’s very important. This word means to look. Emblepo is the word. It means to look at something and contemplate it; to look at it and to study it. He’s not just looking at the exterior. He’s looking at something far beyond just the facial features of Simon. Keep that in your mind. Andrew brought him to Jesus, and Jesus looked at him and said, “…‘You are Simon the son of John...’”
We’re not told that Andrew introduced him and they debated back and forth. You ask if Andrew introduced him? Well, we’re not told! We’re not given that in Scripture, so I don’t know. I don’t generally think that he did introduce him. Jesus looked at him, knew immediately who he was, and said, “…‘you are Simon the son of John...’”
Let me show you something in Scripture. That’s not very difficult for God. Put your finger there in John 1 and look at Galatians 1:15. Listen to what Paul said about God knowing him. “‘But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb...’”
You’re going to get the flavor of that this afternoon during the Superbowl in the commercial with Pam Tebow. God knew who was in her womb. God knew you in the womb! In fact, let me show you something else. Go the other way. Go to Jeremiah 1:5 and listen to what God says there. “Before I formed you in the womb...”
I ‘Yadah.’ I knew. I intimately knew who you were. Before you were born, I consecrated you! God said to Jeremiah that before you were ever an embryo--a fetus, whatever you want to call life–I knew you. Before you were ever even conceived!
Now, go back, and I want you to look at this as Jesus speaks to Simon. He says in John 1:42, “...‘You are Simon the son of John...’”
Understand that He’s not just saying that I know your name! I see your facial features. Look at what He says next. “…‘You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).”
He changes his name! He says, I know something about you and I’m going to change your name! Now, Cephas is the Aramaic translation. Petras is the Greek translation. Listen, that’s very important! It’s Petras. Do you hear the difference? It’s Peter. It’s rock. It means a big, unmovable rock; a huge boulder. Now just keep that in your mind. He tells him that He’s going to change his name.
That wasn’t unusual for a rabbi. Rabbis would change the name of their disciples from time to time. It was not unusual in the Old Testament. Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah. There’s a little difference in the “hah” sound of the Hebrew. Gideon’s name was changed to Jerubbaal. Jacob’s name was changed from Jacob to Israel, so this isn’t something new. He tells him this is who you’re going to be! This is your name from now on. I’m going to call you Cephas. I’m going to call you Petras. I’m going to call you Peter. What Jesus was doing was this: Jesus was looking into the core of who this man was! He is saying that I know you’re called Simon, but I see something else there.
I’m going to show you something in the text, and I’ll have to do it in the Greek. I’m going to have to show you this in the grammar, and it’s very important. If you miss this, you’re missing what Jesus is saying.
I know a lot of pastors listen to us and watch us. I want you to think back to the old commentators like Alfred Plummer and the old Cambridge commentaries and R.C.H. Lenski, the old Lutheran conservative German, and his commentaries. I’m going to show you what’s happening. He says “…you will be called.” Do you see that? You shall be called. That is a future tense of the Greek verb. If you read those old commentators like Lenski and Plummer, they’re going to call it a prophetic future tense. What do I mean by a prophetic future tense? Jesus looked at Simon and He said you will be called Peter. You will be called Peter and you will become what you will be called. He said you’re not a rock right now, but you’re going to become a rock. You’re a sandman right now. Listen!
Anybody that knew Peter knew that he was just a sandman. Anybody that knew Peter knew that he was just as unstable as sand. Anybody that knew Peter knew that Peter was this way one day and that way the next day, that he was back and forth, that he was up, that he was down, excited, then depressed. Listen! Let me tell you something! He was anything but a rock! But Jesus looked into Peter and said I see potential there! I see a possibility that is there! You’re not just Simon! You know what Simon means? It means flat nose. I just threw that in. It just popped into my head. He said you know what, ol’ flat nose? There’s more to you than a flat nose! I see something in you and what I see in you is that you are a rock. Now, that is a prophetic future tense of the Greek verb. Was that ever fulfilled!
Put your finger in John 1. Go with me back to Matthew 16:13. Jesus and his disciples are at Caesarea Philippi. This is a great passage of Scripture! He says, “…‘who do people say that the Son of Man is?’”
Simon Barjona, Simon Peter, looked at Him and said, “…‘you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
Look at verse 17. “And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’”
Now look at what He says in verse 18! Watch this very carefully. In Matthew 16:18 it says, “I also say to you that you are Peter...” (Petras!)
Ah ha! This has now been fulfilled! You are the rock. You got it right. You are the rock that I said you would be. What I prophesied about you has now come to pass! You are ‘Petras’. Now watch this! Let me show you this!
“‘...and upon this rock…’” (Petra!)
A ‘Petras’ is a big boulder. But a ‘Petra’ is like Stone Mountain in Georgia. It’s a huge mountain. If you’ve ever been to Caesarea Philippi, you can stand there and look at a mountain of rock that is just reaching up into the sky. Jesus, with this in the background, says that you have become ‘Petras.’ You have become the rock. But let me tell you something. I’m building My church on the ‘Petra,’ this massive mountain of rock that is the confession that I am Jesus Christ! I’m not building it on you, Peter. I’m building it on this bigger rock! It’s bigger than you are, ‘Petras’. It is ‘Petra’. I can see in you something that you don’t even see in yourself.
Now go back to John 1. He says I can see in you that you’re going to be a rock. What happens to Peter? Well, Peter denies Christ. He runs away. He weeps. He’s not there at the cross, but he gets to the empty tomb. He locks himself up in the room on that Sabbath. We’re told that. He’s afraid like all the other disciples. After Jesus appears, he gives it up and goes back to Galilee to go fishing. But, something happens to Peter. Something happens to that sandman and he becomes a rock. Let me tell you something. He becomes the man who preaches the sermon on Pentecost where 3,000 people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord. He becomes the man who is willing to be thrown in prison by the Sanhedrin and the Herodians and the leaders of Israel. He’s the same man who comes out preaching, so they re-arrest him and throw him back in prison. They say we told you not to do that! He’s the same man who says that we had better listen to God rather than to man! Jesus saw something in him.
Listen to me! The real Jesus sees into you! He knows who you are. He sees beyond what anybody else sees. He sees beyond what you even see in yourself, and He sees the potential and the possibility of what you can be if you come to Him and make Him Lord and Savior of your life! He’s the Jesus who knows you better than you know yourself. That’s who He is! But now watch this: Jesus found you before you ever found Him. He not only knew you before you knew Him, He found you before you found Him.
John 1:43 says, “The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and he found Philip.”
Do you see that? He found Philip. He was going up into Galilee. Philip was from Galilee. That’s where all of the disciples were from except for Judas. He found Philip, verse 44, from Beth-saida. If you’re looking at a map and north is up, you can go up 12 o’clock on Galilee and over about 30, to about 12:30, and you’ve got Capernaum and Beth-saida. Capernaum is where Peter and Andrew lived. Beth-saida is where Philip lived. It’s in an area that is often called Galilee of the Gentiles.
If you’re with us on Sunday nights like you should be, you’re getting all of this history. You need to know this Old Testament history so you’ll understand what it’s talking about in the New Testament. This area was a despised area because it was known as Galilee of the Gentiles. The Assyrians moved out all of these Jews, these Hebrews, and replanted Assyrians and Gentiles. So, the rest of the nation of Israel always looked down on those folks from upper Galilee. It’s kind of the way a lot of the nation will look down on Appalachia. They think those people are backwards and uneducated. They think those people are ignorant people!
That’s where I’m from, so I certainly don’t think that. I think it’s one of the greatest places in the country to be from, but that’s the way some people view the south. They look at the south and think it’s just a bunch of hicks. You’re a bunch of rednecks. You all fly confederate flags. You know, they think those kinds of things! That’s the way they thought about Galilee. These people are backwards. These people are uneducated. In addition to that, Philip is the only apostle who has a Greek name. Philip, like Alexander the Great’s father and Philip of Macedon. Philips means lover of horses.
John gives us a couple of interesting pictures of Philip. Let me just show you one. Take your Bible and look with me at John 12. Do you remember that it was Philip who answered when Jesus said that I want you to feed the multitude? He was the one who said that 200 denarii–this is in John 6 if you want to stop there on the way–200 denarii would not be able to feed all of these people! Philip had figured it up. He counted it up. He crunched the numbers. When you get to John 12, you find these Greeks who come looking for Jesus. They want to meet Jesus. They want to see Jesus. When they come and ask to see Jesus, who do they go to? They go to Philip! Why do they go to Philip? His name is Greek! Interesting! They come to him in verse 20. “Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast...”
Now let me tell you something. They’re going up to worship. Why? They’re sick of Socrates. I’ve been done with college for all these years, and I’m still sick of him, too! They’re through with Aristotle. They’re through with Plato. They said that we’ve tried the philosophies of men. We’ve done all of that! We’ve been there! We’ve heard all of that. These Greeks came to Philip who was from Beth-saida of Galilee and began to ask him if they could see Jesus. And what did Philip do? My gosh, guys, I don’t know! I just don’t know! I don’t know if I can take you up. I don’t know if I can go and interrupt Jesus. I don’t know if I ought to take you over there to where He is! What are you doing coming to me? I’m not sure about... This is Philip!
I want you to listen to what John MacArthur says about Philip. Philip was a classic process person. He was a facts and figures kind of guy. He was by the book, practical-minded, non-forward thinking individual. He was the kind who tends to be a corporate killjoy--pessimistic, narrowly focused, sometimes missing the big picture, and often obsessed with identifying reasons that you can’t do something rather than finding a way to do it! That drives me up a wall! Now, I’m just going to confess! I’m going to confess my sin right here! I just get absolutely torn six ways to Sunday when everybody wants to sit around and figure out why you can’t do something! Figure out why you can! Well, we can’t do it, pastor. We were in this thing and we looked at this thing and let me give you 35 different reasons why it can’t be done! Whooooooooo! He was predisposed to be a pragmatist and a cynic--sometimes a defeatist rather than a visionary. I wouldn’t hire him to be on my staff if you paid me to hire him! I don’t want that on my staff! But Jesus called him. In fact, let me take you back to the text. Look at this in verse 43. “The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me.’”
Present indicative. It means follow Me and keep on following Me! Come on! And keep coming on! Here I am! Follow Me and let’s keep going! Don’t stop following Me. That’s what Jesus said to him.
Now I want to tell you something. That’s an incredible thought! Jesus found Philip before Philip ever found Him! Jesus knew exactly that this guy was a pessimist. He was a processor. He was calculating reasons why things couldn’t get done. He would hesitate and halt when the Greeks came to him and said that we want to see Jesus. I mean, if somebody came to you and said please tell us about Jesus, are you going to say, well, gosh guys, I’d love to do that, but let me give you a couple of reasons why I really can’t do that. Let’s just sit here and debate reasons why I’m not the one to do that, so let me take you to somebody. Listen! People do that to me all the time. I’ve got somebody that needs to know Jesus Christ. I want you to go see them. What’s wrong with you? And yet, Jesus chose him.
Do you know what that says? Some of you here this morning feel like everybody else rejects you. Some of you feel like you don’t fit in. I don’t ever feel a part. I always feel awkward. I always fumble through situations. I’m not always the most positive. I’m not always the most optimistic. I’m not always the one that’s got a vision. I’m the one that kind of draws back off somewhere to the side. Then I want to tell you that Jesus wants you as well. He doesn’t reject you. No matter how awkward or how backward you are. No matter how out of place you feel. No matter how much a wallflower you think yourself to be, Jesus walks by you and He finds you! If you’re here and you’re saved this morning, let me tell you something. It’s because Jesus found you, not because you found Him. It’s not because you sought Him. He sought you. We love Him because He, what? He first loved us! All of us!
On July 26, 2009, just a little less than a year ago, Shaquille O’Neal was in Washington, D.C. If you know anything about basketball, you have to love Shaq. He’s not only a great basketball player, he’s just absolutely lovable. I love the commercial with that little guy, and I can’t think of his name, but you know what I’m talking about. Shaq is just an appealing guy. He was on a radio talk show up there, on a sports-centered talk show, and he said, I’m going to go by the White House. I’m wearing a nice suit. (It’s probably a $3,000-4,000 tailor-made suit). His fingers are dripping with gold and diamond NBA championship rings. His name opens doors everywhere around the world. The president loves basketball. I’m going to stop off at the White House. I don’t have an invitation, but I’m going to go in and see the president. He takes a cab. They drop him off at the front gate. If you’ve ever been there, you’ve got the first little guard shack where they run everything down on you. You’re on a list. Listen, I’m not going to make fun of the poor people that missed those people that should not have gotten in, but they caught Shaq. They got him. His name wasn’t on any list. They told him that you can’t go in! There’s no way! We’re not calling anybody. We’re not telling anybody. We’re not telephoning. We don’t care who you are, how many NBA rings you’ve got on, or how expensive that suit is. It makes no difference. You don’t get in!
Thank God Jesus doesn’t do that! If you’re here this morning, you may be saying that more than anything else, I want to know Jesus Christ! I’m like those Greeks. I’m sick of what the world has to offer. I’ve tried it all. I’m looking for something else. If that is in your heart, then Jesus put it in your heart to be here. He found you, brothers and sisters, long before you ever, ever, ever found Him.
Let me give you the last thing. He saw you before you ever saw Him. Well, Philip does something. He goes and gets his friend, Nathanael. In John 1:45, “...‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’”
By the way, did you notice that? Can I just show you something on the side right here? It won’t take me but a minute. This is interesting. You see this in verse 43? It says, “The next day He purposed to go into Galilee and He...” Jesus! “...found Philip.” When you come to verse 45, it says that Philip said that we found Jesus. Do you see that? Which was it? Did Jesus find him or did Philip find Jesus?
Let me tell you something, folks. This gets into the sovereign election of God and man’s free will. This is the best example you can find in Scripture to say that God is sovereign. From Scripture’s point, God finds you, but from man’s perspective, you have a responsibility to respond and you find Him. Now there are folks out there arguing, splitting churches, trying to tear up a denomination, throwing fits, falling down on the floor, frothing at the mouth and carrying on about this. Let me tell you that you won’t ever solve it. Is God sovereign? You bet! Does man have a responsibility? You’d better believe it. Scripture says God is going to hold him responsible for how he responds. I want to tell you what you can do. You can’t solve that. If Calvin didn’t, I can promise you we won’t. Thank you and we’ll move on. That’s free. Now watch this.
In verse 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’” Listen to what Nathanael says in verse 46. “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’”
That wasn’t an emotional response. It wasn’t a sarcastic response. It was an axiom of the day. That’s what they literally believed. If you’ve ever been to Israel, let me tell you something. Nazareth is down in a hole! It’s got all of these high mountains surrounding it, and it’s down in a hole. I’ve been there probably 8, 9, 10 times. It’s down in this hole. I don’t even stop there anymore. We ride by it and you can look out the window and down into the little town of Nazareth. The Romans had a bivouac there. They raised pigs on the outside of Nazareth and you know what that meant to the Jews. They were horrified. Everybody thought these people were irreligious, uneducated, compromising, and backsliding. All of that! He says nothing good comes out of Nazareth. It was an axiom of that day.
Jesus saw him. Different word now: Horao. It means to look and to study and to concentrate and to peer deeply into. He’s going to use it twice. Jesus looked at Nathanael, saw into him, into the depth of his being, and he said, “…’Behold, an Israelite indeed in whom there is no deceit.’”
I want to explain that verse to you. Only twice in the New Testament is the word Israelite ever used. Paul uses it of himself, and Jesus uses it here of Nathanael. Israel. Where does that name come from? God gave that name to whom? Jacob. He says that here is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.
There was a man in the Old Testament whose name was deceit and guile. His name meant to reach out and grab somebody as they were moving and to trip them up, to deceive them, to trip them, to cause them to fall. You know what that name was? Ya’aquov. Ya’aquov. Jacob! Jacob! Do you remember how Jacob deceived his father? He put the animal hair on his arms and, along with his mother, went in and pretended to be Esau and got the birthright? He fled after that because Esau was going to kill him. He spends the next 20 years being deceived by his father-in-law, Laban. Laban deceives him about his wife. He wakes up the morning after their honeymoon and discovers he didn’t get the wife that he thought he would. He spends 20 years and they change his salary. Everything Laban can do to deceive him, Laban does.
Anyway, he calls these two wives of his…In fact, he’s got four wives. God punishes him like he doesn’t punish anybody else. He gives him four wives. He calls these four wives in-- I’ll bet every one of them had a dog, too. No, they had camels. I know that--He calls these four wives in and he looks at Rachel and Leah and he says that we’re leaving. We’re going to get out of here. Rachel steals Laban’s terraphim--the little household gods. The Bible literally says that Rachel jacobed Laban.
Listen. Jesus looks at Nathanael and says in verse 47, “‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit’” (Jacob!). He’s got his attention now. Nathanael looks at him and asks how do you know about me? Jesus is going to say something in verse 48 that is really mysterious. I want to work you through it. He’s going to absolutely and radically change the life of Nathanael. When He says this, it changes Nathanael completely. He said that nothing good can come out of Nazareth. Now watch this. John 1:48 says, “Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I...’” Horao. “‘...saw (into) you.’”
Now you may say, well, what in the big deal is that? What’s so earth-shattering? Look at what he says in verse 49. “Nathanael answered Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.’” It was not that Jesus saw him physically. He saw into the man’s spirit.
Let me show you something about a fig tree. Put your finger in John 1. A fig tree is a symbol of Israel. A fig tree is also a symbol of the coming Messiah, and it is a symbol that has eschatological meaning. Go with me to Zechariah, almost the last book of the Old Testament. It contains the prophecy of the prophet Zechariah. Go to chapter three and verse 8. This book deals with the second coming of Jesus Christ. It also deals with the coming of the Messiah. Look at Zechariah 3:8. I’m going to show you what this guy was thinking when Jesus saw into him. “Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you---indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring my servant the Branch.”
Do you know what branch is in Hebrew? Nazar. Naza. Nothing good can come out of Nazareth. Do you remember what Isaiah said? Out of that stump would shoot a Nazar branch. Zechariah comes and says that I’m going to bring the Messiah, my servant, the Nazar. I’ve just said Nazareth. Nothing good can come out of it.
In verse 9, ‘For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of the land in that one day.’”
He’s talking about the coming of the Messiah and how He’s going to take away the iniquity, the sin of the land. He’s really talking about the second coming. In verse 10, “‘In that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.’”
Do you know what I think Nathanael was doing? I think Nathanael was under that fig tree and he was desperately-- just like Andrew, just like John, just like Philip who were all out in the wilderness looking at John the Baptist--hoping and longing for the coming of the Messiah. Something was happening that had not happened in a long time. Here was this man, like a prophet, out in the wilderness preaching. They all go out there. Here’s Nathanael and he go off under this fig tree, which is a symbol of Israel that figures so significantly into eschatology (the coming of the Messiah), and he’s thinking about Messiah. Oh, that I could have a relationship with God. Oh, that I could have a relationship. When is Messiah going to come and take away the sin of the land? When is He going to come and restore us? When is He going to come so we can have a personal relationship with Him? When is He going to come? And Jesus walks up and says, I saw you at worship. I saw you worshipping. I know what was going on in your heart. Nathanael looks at him and says, Rabbi, You are the Son of God. You could see into my soul and the hunger that I have for Messiah to come! You could see that I was longing for a relationship with God! You are the King of Israel.
Look at what Jesus says to him in verse50. “… ‘Nathanael, because I told you I saw you under a fig tree, do you believe?’…”. What are you going to do when the dead get up out of the tomb and walk out? What are you going to do when the blind get their sight? What are you going to do when the crippled walk? What are you going to do when the deaf hear? What are you going to do when the captives are set free? You haven’t seen anything yet, Nathanael! I’ve looked into your heart.
Do you realize that in this moment the Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself, watches the worship in your own heart? He’s already talked about Jacob. He’s already talked about the guy whose name was changed from guile and deceit to Israel. He asks him do you really want to know how you can have a relationship with God? Verse 51 says, “Truly, truly I say to you, you’ll see the heavens opened.”
Do you see that? That’s what he was thinking about. Oh, God, I want You! Is that what’s in your heart right now? God, I want You! You can see into my heart. Before you ever saw Him, He saw you! He’s looking in your heart right now and He asks is there a place in your heart for Me? Is there worship in your heart for Me?
He says that you’re going to see the angels of God ascending and descending. Can I show you something right there? Don’t turn that backward. They were not descending and then ascending. Let me tell you something. God has already established a beachhead on planet earth, and the angels are already here. They are here going up and coming back down. Every child has an angel. Jesus said that the angels of children behold the face of the father continually. Hebrews 1:14 says that these are ministering spirits to care for the saints. Revelation two and three tells us, even chapter one tells us, that every church has an angel. I wonder what the angel of this church…Well, I’ll bet he’s worn out! He says that you’re going to see the angels of God ascending and descending. Now watch this. In chapter three, He’s going to look at Nicodemus and say, Nicodemus, just as Moses lifted up the serpent on the pole in the wilderness so must the Son of Man be lifted up. He comes to Nathanael and He says, Nathanael, I saw into your heart and I know what you want. You want a relationship with God.
The only way you’re going to have a relationship with God is to come to this ladder where Christ is, where the Son of Man is. That ladder is nothing less than the cross of Calvary and the only way you can have a relationship with God in heaven. Nathanael, only I will satisfy the longing of your heart. I saw your deep need before you ever, ever saw Me.
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