“Does John 3:13 mean that no one went to Heaven before Jesus?”Answer: John 3:13 says, “And no one has ascended up to Heaven except He who came down from Heaven, the Son of Man who is in Heaven.” This verse is somewhat difficult to interpret and is often misunderstood. It is also frequently used by those who want to find contradictions in the Bible. Looking at the verse in context, verses 10-12 especially, we see that Jesus is speaking on the subject of the authority and validity of His teaching. In verse 13, Jesus explains to Nicodemus why He alone is qualified to speak of these things, namely, because He is to only one who has ever gone to heaven and then come back with knowledge from heaven to teach to people.No man, therefore, can speak of heavenly things as authoritatively as Jesus. To speak of those things requires intimate acquaintance with them and demands that they have been seen and experienced as only Jesus had. As no one has ascended into heaven and returned, so no one is qualified to speak of these things but He who came down from heaven. Jesus was saying that He alone was the one who had seen the Father, and He alone was qualified to declare God and make Him known (John 1:18).This does not mean that no one had ever gone to heaven or had been saved, for Enoch and Elijah had been borne there (Genesis 5:24Hebrews 11:52 Kings 2:11) and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and others were there. Rather, it means that no one had ascended and “returned,” in such a way as to be qualified to speak of the things there. Ascending carries the idea of going some place with authority. Jesus is the only one who has ever ascended to heaven with authority, since He is God’s only Son (John 1:14).

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