May 2, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
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.
On this direct statement from the lips of Jesus much could be written but space is limited. So, may we begin at the beginning.
Verily, verily. This phrase is used 25 times in Scripture, only by Jesus and only in the book of John. The phrase is a formula of doubled words, a literary device used sparingly in Scripture. When used however it is to draw special attention to that which is being said. The 25 times that the Lord uses this phrase are all very important truths that must be considered sacrosanct.
The word “verily” is defined by Webster's 1828 dictionary as “In truth, in fact, certainly” and “truly with great confidence”. Doubling the word brings this phrase into rarified air, no doubt. Jesus is saying to all who will hear that a great truth is about to be revealed. Jesus Himself is the one that set forth the New Testament teaching of …in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matthew 18:16) He masterfully utters from His own lips a twofold witness to the truth that is about to be revealed.
Lest we forget. Jesus is the truth! He said so… and so it is! Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 Just as it is a Biblical truth that God cannot lie, so too His Son cannot lie. But when He states Verily, verily, wisdom dictates to take special notice.
Over the next 25 days of this devotion series each one of the usages of this phrase will be visited. Each one is powerful, needed, and above all truth, not each devotion, but each teaching associated with the phrase Verily, verily. For example, today’s truth was given to Nathanael. Jesus tells him that he will see …the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Frankly, there is debate about the specificity of this happening, but make no doubt, it did happen, or it will happen. For Jesus said it would, even doubling the fact that it is true. Remember, the New Testament does not record everything, Nathaniel may have had a vision very much like Jacob’s ladder as found in Genesis 28. Or the angels at the resurrection, or the ascension, or in the future advent of Christ. Details of this prophecy may be vague, but not prophecy, for it is a Verily, verily fact. Just one of 25.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.