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A Ladder to Heaven

February 21, 2020
By Martin Luther

And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven.

GENESIS 28:12

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A Ladder to Heaven

[When Philip brings Nathanael to Christ, Christ says, John 1:51]: "Truly, truly, I say to you: 'You will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’” We should believe and be content with this explanation of our Savior; for He has a better understanding than all other interpreters, even though they agree properly in this point, that this dream signified that infinite, inexpressible, and wondrous mystery of the incarnation of Christ, who was to descend from the patriarch Jacob, as God says: "In your seed, etc." Therefore He revealed to Jacob himself that he would be the father of Christ and that the Son of Man would be born from his seed. God did not speak this in vain. Indeed, He painted that picture of the ladder to comfort and console Jacob in faith in the future blessing, just as above (Genesis 22:18) He gave the same promise to Abraham and Isaac in order that they might teach and transmit it to their descendants as certain and infallible, and expect a Savior from their own flesh. In this way God strengthens Jacob, who, like the useless trunk of a tree, is wretched and afflicted in a foreign land; and by means of this new picture He transfers to him all the blessings, to assure him that he is this patriarch from whom the Seed promised to Adam will come.

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