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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 3 - Verse 13

Verse 13. And no man hath ascended into heaven. No man, therefore, is qualified to speak of heavenly things, Joh 3:12. To speak of those things requires intimate acquaintance with them—demands that we have seen them; and as no one has ascended into heaven and returned, so no one is qualified to speak of them but He who came down from heaven. This does not mean that no one had gone to heaven or had been saved, for Enoch and Elijah had been borne there (Ge 5:24; comp. Heb 11:5; 2 Ki 2:11), and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and others were there; but it means that no one had ascended and returned, so as to be qualified to speak of the things there.

But he that came down, &c. The Lord Jesus. He is represented as coming down, because, being equal with God, he took upon himself our nature, Joh 1:14; Php 2:6,7.

He is represented as sent by the Father, Joh 3:17,34; Ga 4:4; 1 Jo 4:9,10.

 

The Son of man. Called thus from his being a man; from his interest in man; and as expressive of his regard for man. It is a favourite title which the Lord Jesus gives to himself.

Which is in heaven. This is a very remarkable expression. Jesus, the Son of man, was then bodily on earth conversing with Nicodemus; yet he declares that he is at the same time in heaven. This can be understood only as referring to the fact that he had two natures—that his divine nature was in heaven, and his human nature on earth. Our Saviour is frequently spoken of in this manner. Comp. Joh 6:62; Joh 6:62; 17:5; 2 Co 8:9.

As Jesus was in heaven—as his proper abode was there—he was fitted to speak of heavenly things, and to declare the will of God to man. And we may learn,

1st. That the truth about the deep things of God is not to be learned of men. No one has ascended to heaven and returned to tell us what is there; and no infidel, no mere man, no prophet, is qualified of himself to speak of them.

2nd. That all the light which we are to expect on those subjects is to be sought in the Scriptures. It is only Jesus and his inspired apostles and evangelists that can speak of those things.

3rd. It is not wonderful that some things in the Scriptures are mysterious. They are about things which we have not seen, and we must receive them on the testimony of one who has seen them.

4th. The Lord Jesus is divine. He was in heaven while on earth. He had, therefore, a nature far above the human, and is equal with the Father, Joh 1:1.

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