And he said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Hereafter you shall see heaven open…
1. Nothing is more characteristic of our age than its questioning and doubt.
(1) Science has opened many fields in all of which much is yet unsolved.
(2) Philosophy has unsettled much that was once believed.
(3) The growing complications of society force upon us questions to every one of which jarring answers are returned.
(4) The Church is so divided that she is unable to guide herself, much less the world. Hence thousands are asking whether there can be any certainty for man.
2. There was another age which resembled ours — the age when the old-world civilizations broke up: when Greece and Rome were bankrupt, and when Israel's sun turned into darkness. In that dark age He came who could meet doubt with certain truth.
3. The Truth still lives who had and still has a message for a doubting age, and for those who received Him there was and is now certainty and rest.
4. This amen has altered some memorable amens — amens which He has marked with reiterated affirmations; the unusual form showing us —
(1) That we need light; and
(2) That He will not withhold the light we need.
5. The "Verily, verily" is only employed by John because he sets forth Christ in His higher relations, and therefore conveys transcendent truth that requires emphasis.
6. Not one of the verilies refers to the Church, but all refer to the peculiar forms of eternal life which are only outwardly manifested in the Church; and will survive its failure.
7. This revelation of eternal life is distinctive of St. John. The other apostles have each their special truth suited to some stage of the Church and individual.
(1) Paul's comes first, meeting us with words relative to our ruin and the righteousness which is by faith.
(2) James meets our advancing needs touching the moralities which belong to Christian doctrine.
(3) Peter comes next with words of our present suffering and future glory.
(4) Once mere we advance and come to John's witness to the new life which the sons of God are called to manifest.
8. It is this teaching of John's which the reiterated amens sum up, showing us the course and stages of eternal life in Christ. Twelve of these are distinguished.
(1) The home of the new man: heaven, long shut, is reopened (John 1:51).
(2) We enter this home by a new birth (John 3:3, 5).
(3) The law of the life of the new man (John 5:19-22).
(4) His meat (John 6:26-58).
(5) His liberty (John 8:31-35).
(6) His divinity (John 8:48-58).
(7) His service (John 10:1-18).
(8) His sacrifice and its results (John 12:24-26).
(9) His lowliness (John 13:1-32).
(10) His glory (John 14:8-14).
(11) His sorrow and joy (John 16:16-25).
(12) His perfecting (John 21:15-23).
(A. Jukes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.