And Jesus reacted like... "Wow! You believe in me just because I recalled you were under a fig tree? Ha! You haven't seen anything yet!" And this is where Jesus said:
- "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
At first glance this seems mildly interesting, maybe even confusing. I remember when I first read it (because I was advised to read the NT first, and had never been exposed to the OT); the imagery I literally had in my head was, Jesus lying on the ground and angels swooping down from the clouds upon him, and then going back up. It didn't make any sense to me, so I moved on.
So many times I've heard Christians say the Old Testament is irrelevant. Many don't like talking about it because the idea is there is a New, superior Covenant, thus the Old Covenant isn't really worth reading all that much.
But see, if you don't read the Old Testament, then you miss a lot of stuff that Jesus and the Apostles make reference to. In Genesis 28, the same exact scenario of angels ascending and descending upon something occurred. And it was the event surrounding the familiar phrase "Jacob's Ladder" where Jacob had a vision of a ladder that joined Heaven and Earth, and angels climbing up and down it. Jacob had that vision and when he woke up from it, he realized that God was there in that very place, and he didn't even realize it!
So let's tie all this together; again, which you could not do had you no knowledge of the Old Testament.
Jesus was basically telling Nathanael: HE is in fact the Christ which Nathanael had already confessed, AND, He is the bridge... the link... between Heaven and Earth. And it also coincides with the lesson Jacob learned that though you don't see the LORD around you, that does not mean he is not present in that very place.
Thoughts? Do we see why the Old Testament is so critical to the depth of meaning in the New Testament?