By Ed Hindson
Q. What did Jesus mean by His statement in John 3:13 about coming down from Heaven?
A. This passage comes in the midst of Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemus, a Pharisee who displayed a genuine interest in Jesus’ teachings. In this verse, our Lord says:
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven,” (John 3:13).What Jesus meant was that only He had been in Heaven and then came down from Heaven. It refers to His position in Heaven prior to His incarnation on the Earth. Remember that as God, Jesus Christ had always existed up in Heaven prior to His coming to Earth at Bethlehem. In fact, He even took part in the creative process (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17).
In effect, Jesus has access to both the Heavenly and Earthly realms in His ministry. Jesus’ unique position in this regard has enabled Him to do a number of things for us, past, present, and future:
- It allowed Him to come to Earth as a man, live a perfect life, give us His teachings, including the way of salvation, and then offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for mankind’s sin (Acts 2:22-24).
- It enabled Him to rise from the dead and manifest Himself to over 500 believers over a 40-day period (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
- It let Him then ascend into Heaven, there to be our Mediator between ourselves and the Father (1 Timothy 2:5).
- His ascension, in turn, enabled the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to come and live within each and every true believer in Christ (John 16:7).
- His presence in Heaven will enable Him to return one day for His Church at the Rapture and Resurrection prior to the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; John 14:1-3).
- At the conclusion of the Tribulation, He will return with His saints, defeat the Antichrist at Armageddon, and reign on Earth during the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 19:11-20:6).
- Following Satan’s final rebellion and the Great White Throne Judgment, Jesus will gather the saved of all ages into the New Jerusalem for all of eternity (Revelation 20:7-15; 21-22).