And he said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Hereafter you shall see heaven open…
1. The first question of the Old Testament is, "Where art thou?" — God's question to fallen man. The first of the New is, "Where is He?" — asked by men who have just been awakened to feel their need of a Saviour. God's question reveals man's state that he is not where God placed him; man's question draws forth the purpose of God's heart, that, fallen as we are, He is with us, our Tabernacle.
2. This first verily teaches both these truths. Heaven, man's proper home, long shut, is now opened, and that all man has lost shall be restored through the Heir, "the Son of man." The old man by disobedience lost his home; the New Man comes back again to the opened heavens as His dwelling-place.
3. These words were spoken by one who had just had heaven open to Him, and He comes forth to tell men how they are to enter.
4. Heaven is not far off; it is the spirit-world which is lost or shut only to the natural man. What will be manifested at death may be anticipated here.
5. Take some examples of this "opened heaven."(1) That which took place at Christ's baptism. This is fulfilled to Christ's members. The Spirit like a dove abides on them; for the mark of the beast is gone, and the voice from heaven proclaims their sonship.
(2) Christ's transfiguration is recorded to teach a communion with saints who are not far from us. But this blessing is not without its peril, inasmuch as it awakens in imperfect disciples thoughts which if followed out would give to creatures a place and honour which belongs to God alone. Hence Peter wanted three tabernacles; but is called back to "Jesus only" by the voice, "This is My beloved Son," etc.
(3) Peter's vision (Acts 10:9-16), which taught him that we should call no man common or unclean.
(4) John's visions in the Apocalypse, revealing the glory of the Son of man and the endless bliss of His brethren.
6. Whenever man's true home is opened the servants (angels) also are seen, ever near.
(1) Ministering to man's wants (1 Kings 19:5, 6).
(2) Directing his steps (Genesis 16:9).
(3) Barring his way if he turns aside from God (Numbers 22:24-26).
(4) Present in the assemblies of believers (1 Corinthians 11:10).
(5) Specially related to little children (Matthew 18:10).
(6) Rejoicing over repenting sinners (Luke 15:10).
(7) Ministering: to the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
(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.