Reflection on John 1:51

I was reading John 1 this morning and the last verse of the chapter caught my attention. In John 1:51, Jesus refers to himself as “the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth”. Other translations don’t have this phrase – partly why it caught my attention (the other reason being that it resembles the lyrics of one of the greatest rock songs of all time:). It appears that the NLT has added it to more clearly reflect Jesus reference to Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28. While Jacob sleeps, he dreams of a stairway (sometimes translated a ladder) that reaches from the earth to heaven. He sees some of God’s angels going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stands God who pronounces a great blessing on Jacob. In that blessing, He says “all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants”.

In John 1:51, Jesus is pointing to himself as the path from earth to heaven and the fulfillment of the blessing God promised Jacob. Jesus referred to himself in a similar manor in John 14:6 when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the only stairway to heaven. We can’t buy our way there. We can’t earn our way there. It’s only through what He has done for us.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. Romans 5:1-2