In Genesis 28, God reaffirms His promise to make a nation from which the world would be blessed out of the family of Abraham. The promise, told to Abraham multiple times, was also given to Abe’s son, Isaac, and now to Isaac’s son, Jacob. Jacob meets with God in an extraordinary dream. In the dream, Jacob sees a “ladder” connecting heaven and earth. Jesus, the promised seed from Abraham’s family, in John 1 describes Himself as that ladder. Here we see God’s desire to reconnect with mankind, separated from God because of their rebellion and sin.
Jacob sets up a memorial to remember this meeting with God. Jacob calls this place Bethel, meaning “house of God,” because this was the “gate of heaven.” Later Jesus describes Himself as the gate to heaven. In fact, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Do we truly believe this?