The Lectionary took us to John 3 this past Sunday and to the passage that includes John 3:16. It's a verse that I can remember saying in a Sunday school class as I was growing up. It's probably the verse I have referred to more than any other so far in ministry.
Today, I prefer to use such Biblical translations as the Common English Bible and the NIV.
"Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
It begins with "for God so loved the world." It's one of the most revolutionary statements that we can ever hear. "God loves the world." I've heard a lot of claims to the contrary. Humanity is worthless and filled with sin and there's no possible way that we could have value to God. Yet, Jesus paints a different picture with a single statement. "For God so loved the world." What a wonderful statement of hope from Jesus. And there are no exceptions here.
Jesus isn't saying that God so loved the righteous, the holy, the people who are perfect, the people who voted for a particular candidate or the ones who hold a particular view. Jesus is saying, "For God so loved the world." Yes…this world as broken as it is. As conflicted as it is, as frustrating as it is; God loves it.
And if God can love this world, then maybe I can come to realization that I'm not better or more privileged than God. God loves all the people I love and he also loves all of the people I struggle to even like, much less love. If God can love them, then I can probably be a lot more loving too.
"For God so loved the world" — and I have no excuse to be judgmental.BACK TO LIST