Does John 3:13 mean that no one went to Heaven before Jesus?


John 3:13

ESV - 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Stringio Phillip Ramirez

Some interesting comments, to be sure. And, at the risk of shocking (or even offending) some, it's important to understand what the Bible teaches.

Prior to philosophical thought being introduced into scriptural teachings, the truth of what happens to us when we die was clear: when we die, we simply return to the dust. Both Genesis and Ecclesiastes point this out. There was no spirit that left us when we died... that's where we get the phrase "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" from at funeral talks. That is why the teaching of resurrection, and the very example of that resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus himself, is vitally important. For, if everyone dies and goes to heaven, what is the point of being resurrected to earth? Food for thought.

There is also an attempt to read more into Jesus' words than what was said. Jesus said simply that no man has ascended to heaven... and he was correct. That means that we have the opportunity to meet Bible characters such as Joshua and Rahab and, yes, even King David. That is why Jesus said "Blessed are they who are meek, for they will inherit the earth." (Matt. 5:5). Psalms 37 also tells us that we are going to live forever on earth (Psa. 37:29—"And the righteous ones inherit the Earth and dwell upon it for eternity."-Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

Again, let scripture interpret scripture. And let us take Jesus words just as they are.

December 14 2013 Report

Data Pastor Shafer

1. [ascended up] Greek: anabaino (GSN-), to go up of own power, not taken up as was Enoch (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5), Elijah (2Ki. 2:11), Paul (2Cor. 12:1-3), and John (Rev. 4:1). This refers to the ascension of Christ (Jn. 3:13; 6:62; Acts 1:11; Lk. 24:51; Eph. 4:8-10). Christ ascended and came back before His final ascension to heaven to stay (Jn. 20:17).

2. [is in heaven] This verse proves that Jesus had already ascended when John wrote this book; that the conversation with Nicodemus ended with Jn. 3:12; and that Jesus was now in heaven.

December 15 2013 Report

Login or Sign Up to add your comment.