JOHN 3:16 Reflection: For God so loved the world…

Posted: March 21, 2012 in John 3, Pastoral ministry, Sermons

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.  But when I learned this verse, it was in the King James Version.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. — John 3:16 (KJV)

As part of the sermon, I challenged those there to reflect on John 3:16 each day this week.  And so to keep up my end of the bargain, I’m going to reflect for the next few days on parts of this verse.

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, some say.  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 “For 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 is as.  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, then I can probably be a lot more loving too.

“For God so loved the world” — and I have no excuse to be judgmental.

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