John 3:16 is one of the most famous scriptures out there. People put it on signs at sporting events, it’s on bags at a trendy store at the mall and even tattooed on people’s arms. It’s everywhere. You’re probably even saying to yourself, oh I’ve heard this all before. Maybe you have heard it…but have you actually listened and received it?
Personally, I think continual exposure has had the opposite effect that people intended. It’s made people complacent about God’s love. The exposure has diluted the perceived power of this scripture. Instead of reminding people how deeply and passionately they are loved, people say, “Oh John 3:16. Yeah, I know that one. God loves me and all that. Blah blah blah.” People have become absolutely flippant about God’s love. They think of it like they think about historical facts or talk about the weather. They say “God loves you” like they say, “Have a nice day.”
God’s love is not flippant. It is not fickle. It does not waver or change. It is fixed and permanent. You can’t ever reach the end of it, nor can you escape it. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.” He pursues you with mercy and kindness, because He wants to have a relationship with YOU.
That being said, let’s break down John 3:16!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
so loved: In this context this means to take pleasure in a thing, prize it above other things, be unwilling to abandon or do without it.
the world: The inhabitants of the earth, the human race.
gave: To give one to someone to care for his interests.
only begotten Son: Jesus
whoever: Each and every person, individually.
believes: In this context, to have faith directed unto, believing or in faith to give one’s self up to Jesus.
perish: To incur the loss of true or eternal life; to be delivered up to eternal misery.
everlasting: Without beginning and end, that which has always been and always will be.
life: In this context it means unto the attainment of eternal life.
So God, the Great Creator and true Master of the Universe, was and is so taken by you and so unwilling to be without you that sent Jesus to care for your situation. The situation is one you inherited from Adam and Eve. The “sin problem,” that we inherited, separated us from Him. Being separated from us was a problem for Him. He didn’t like it. So He did something about it. He sent Jesus to teach us who the Father really is and to be the perfect one time sacrifice. His sacrifice covers your past, present and future sin.
Everyone is given the choice between eternal life and eternal death. You can choose to receive Jesus and an everlasting life filled with unending love. You are also free to choose to perish. It’s that simple and that straight forward. He loves you enough to provide the solution and enough to allow you to choose. He doesn’t force anyone to do anything. It’s not His style.
Every single person gets the same choice, no matter whom they are or where they live. He loves you right now, even in the midst of your mess, mistakes and failures. He loved you even before you choose Jesus, if He didn’t He wouldn’t have sent Jesus in the first place. In fact Ephesians 1:4 says that He chose you before the foundation of the world. So before there was even a planet Earth—God saw you, loved you & chose you.
So anytime you see John 3:16, remember that God in all His glory and majesty is completely unwilling to be apart from you. You are His beloved. That’s what John 3:16 is all about.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Thanks to http://www.blueletterbible.org for having Thayer’s Lexicon & the Strong’s Concordance on-line. You really should check it out and support this great site.