The Stone and the Ladder

The heel-catcher, the deceiver, the man of guile, The stubborn heart of a man who met with the Messiah? Wait? When? I don’t remember this story. When did Jacob meet the Messiah?

On the road to Emmaus, Yeshua opened up the Torah to the ears of his disciples.  John I believe gave us a glimpse of this historic lesson.

Consider the story of Nathaniel. Imagine this if you will. You are sitting under a fig tree, a picture of Israel, and your entire world is interrupted. Your friend runs up to you, excited about the Messiah, the very one mentioned by Moses in the Torah. 

John 1:45
“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.”

Ill conjecture a bit here, but I believe, judging by Nathans response, He was meditating on the story of Jacob and the ladder. He walks up to Jesus and the first thing he says references the very story of Jacob.

John 1:47-48
“Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?””

When I read this, I  wonder why Yeshua said this. Consider Nathans response. How do you know me? Or rather, how did you know what I was thinking about? 

Yeshua not only knows what he was thinking about, he even knows where he sat when he was thinking about it, attributes only God has. 

Psalms 139:1-4
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

Nathan responds by calling Yeshua, the Son of God and the King of Israel. Nathan was apparently impressed, but Yeshua wasn’t done. I believe Yeshua showed him kindness, not only confirming Nathans meditation on Jacob, as he sat under the fig tree but affirming Nathans suspicion about the text from Genesis.

Yeshua tells Nathan the following:
John 1:50-51
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

If we pay close attention, Yeshua references the story of Jacob's ladder by calling Nathan as a man of no deceit, but then uses the very same language from the story of Jacobs ladder. But Yeshua puts himself in the place of the ladder. 

Let's compare the texts. 

Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man (it).
John 1

Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven, and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (son of Man)
Genesis 28

This is a perfect example of finding Yeshua in the Torah. But there’s more. In the account of Jacob and his dream, we see another layer of meaning and significance. When Jacob wakes from his dream, the Torah expresses some deafening truths. 

Genesis 28:16
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!

Jacob calls the place he sleeps, Beth-el, or the House of God and the gate of Heaven. I believe there are two things worth noting in this statement. Many connect the location of Bethel to ( blah blah blah). Second, consider the words of Yeshua:

John 10:1-3
“Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the person who doesn’t enter the sheepfold through the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. It’s to him the gatekeeper opens the gate, and it’s his voice the sheep hear. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

John 10:7-9
So again Jesus said, “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, I’m the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I’m the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved.

Yeshua is the gate. He is the connection between heaven and earth. And we are in Yeshua, then heaven is open to us currently. Imagine the implications. Heaven is no longer some distant place, but a current reality in Yeshua. He is the place where heaven and earth connect. 

But, just in case we are still not sure that Yeshua is all over this story, let's continue with the text. Jacob’s grabs a stone. The one he slept upon, the one that the ladder descended on. If you remember the previous article, I and the Father are… Stone, we find the same word Eben used in this story.

 A quick reminder, The Hebrew word for stone is spelled made up of the word father and son. Its the same word used in Psalm 118 where the very same stone gets rejected. But here in lies another connection, Just a few verses before the rejected stone, the psalmist says,

Psalms 118:19-20
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.

Psalms 118 plays off the Jacob story, referencing the gate and the stone in one poem. But I digress. Jacob takes the stone and anoints it with oil. Jacob pours oil on the stone made of the father and the son. 

The anointing of oil was reserved for Kings. When a new king takes power, his head was anointed with oil. Remember our friend Nathan? He called Yeshua the King of Israel! The stone that is anointed is the same as the cornerstone that was rejected which in turn we know is the Messiah. Nathan was quite the student of scripture. 

And see how kind Yeshua was on the first meet. He knew what Nathan was thinking about. He knew what was doing. He understood the question Nathan had as he was meditating on the story of Jacob and even confirms his suspicion that Jacob encountered the son of God.