4/1 John 3:13

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

A respected leader of the Jews named Nicodemus had come to Jesus to learn more about Him. Jesus immediately told Nicodemus that one must be born again. Jesus knew that most of the leaders of Israel did not accept Him as the Messiah and were not willing to hear His message. But Nicodemus was different. Jesus told him the reason that he should hear the message. Jesus was from heaven. No one else enjoys unhindered communion with God (John 3:34).

This statement was also a declaration of Jesus claiming to be the Messiah. First, Jesus used the title "Son of Man" in connection with ascending. That is a direct reference to Daniel 7:13-14, a passage about the Messiah, who will reign forever. Proverbs 30:4 is another ascension passage. It asks, "Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!" The One who ascends to heaven and comes down is the Creator's Son!

As a scholar of the Scriptures, Nicodemus would have clearly understood the claim Jesus was making and would have known these passages to which Jesus was referring. Jesus added one more Scripture reference. He referred to the serpent being lifted up on a pole by Moses to heal the Israelites of venomous snakebites (John 3:14-15). Jesus said that He, too, would be lifted up to give eternal life to those who believe on Him, saving them from the deadly bite of the old serpent, Satan. It was a very difficult thing for Nicodemus to receive. However, when Nicodemus saw Jesus' words come to pass, he knew what Jesus was teaching was from heaven.

Consider: This is the great difference in religious teaching around the world. The only One to ascend and descend to give us heaven's solution to our sinful condition is the Son of God.