John 3:16 – Summarizing the Gospel in one Sentence
I’ve probably read John 3:16 about 316,000 times. Probably you have as well. It’s on billboards, bumper stickers and emblazoned in the crowds at sporting events with fans lifting their banners high.
Here it is for the 316,001 time:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
So what’s the big deal?
For God so loved ME, that he gave his one and only Holy Son for ME, that if I believe in him, I shall never perish but have eternal life. And, if God so loved YOU, that God himself gave his one and only son, Jesus, and if YOU also believe in Him, than YOU also shall never perish but have a wonderful life in eternity with your creator. That’s the the big deal. It’s the Gospel in a holy nutshell.
Luke 15:4-7 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
- It’s already in our pew bibles and our bulletins so we can read it.
- It’s in our songs so we can sing it, ponder it, tap our feet to it and feel it.
- It’s in our prayers so the Holy Spirit can massage it and God can answer it.
- It’s in our statues, art and stained glass windows so we can adore it.
- It’s in our creeds so we collectively can voice it.
- It’s in our scripture readings for our contemplation, consideration, cogitation, meditation, pondering, rumination, deep thought, musing, deliberation, study and further reflection.
Look at the simplest flower 🌻, there is just such elegant beauty there. The vivid color combinations, the intricate edges, the complex textures, the petals, the patterns, the stamen, the pollen, the filament, the anther, the lobes, the connective, the microsporangium, the gametophyte, even the androecium; the list is endless. Can you imagine how this flower 🌺 would come to life under a microscope 🔬? It would be breathtaking. To quote Chris Tomlin you would get “lost in wonder.” Turn the flower over and notice that even the underside is exquisite.
Now look at man’s finest garment, say the most expensive, glorious garment hand stitched for a king. Look at it under the microscope 🔬 . What do you see? My guess is that it looks like burlap. Turn the garment inside out, what does it look 👀 like? A mess? Yes, of course it does with all those loose threads and unfinished edges.
How can anyone look 👀 at a flower 🌺 and not see the hand of an incredible creator? How is this ever possible? I don’t get it.
There is an oak tree in my hometown that is so majestic and beautiful that I often make it a point to take a slight detour on my way home from work to gaze at God’s masterpiece in awe and wonder. This monstrous oak is over 450 years old according to the nearby plaque but the local folks will tell you it’s between 200 and 250 years old. Only God knows for sure. The tree has several sprawling limbs that are bigger than most tree trunks as they stretch out horizontally and touch the ground in a few spots.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. – Psalm 96:12