This week we are going to study John 3:16–21. This passage has one of the most famous Bible verses of all time, but I very rarely hear the other verses in this passage discussed. So, let’s read this passage together, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:16–21
In this passage, Jesus is still speaking to Nicodemus about salvation. He did not hide who He was from Nicodemus, but rather told him exactly who Jesus was and why He came. Nicodemus was the one that prompted the most famous verse of all time. This is not the last time we will mention Nicodemus, he is mentioned several more times and followed Jesus from a distance. Jesus explains the gospel to Nicodemus and explains the response of all people to it. Most of us probably know the first two verses and can quote them from memory, but have we ever really stopped and thought about the words. The God of the universe that created everything, loved the world so much that He sent His son which was a part of Himself (John 1:1). Keep in mind that He designed a perfect world, but we as humans corrupted it in the fall (Genesis 3), we rebelled against the one who made us. Just like the man in the story who wanted his inheritance now so he could squander it on unrighteous living, we want our way, we thought we knew better than the one who created us. But yet, just like the father in the story when his son came back to ask for a position as a servant he instead gave him his rightful place as a son, the place he forfeited (Luke 15:11–31). He loves the world so much that He was willing to come down as a man and die in our place so that we could live forever with Him. While we were still in sin, He loved us, died for us, and wants to have a relationship with us (Romans 5:8).
We as humankind are known for killing God’s messengers (Mark 12:1–12). So when they saw Jesus coming into the world, they instantly thought He was here to condemn them, so they plotted to kill Him and did. But, if God did not give them authority, then they would not have even been able to touch Him (John 19:11). He came to tell us that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have life with Him forever. The whoever in this passage is not just the ones who are perfect because none are, every human has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It is not just for some people, it is for all. His coming saved the world, but we all have to choose during our lifetime whether we believe Jesus is who He said He is and whether He died to pardon us. But, if you do not believe you are already condemned because you have not believed in the name of the Son of God.
We all probably realize that the thing we are told we cannot have is one thing we desire. Think of the account of Samson, he wanted the women he was told he could not have. It is the same today as in the day of Jesus. Jesus the true light of the world came down and the world preferred the darkness because their evil deeds were hidden by the darkness. It is the same day, I have heard several say they are waiting till they are older or until a certain point in their lives to accept Him as their Savior, most of them just want to remain in the darkness. Not thinking about that we are not promised tomorrow and for some there may be no tomorrow. As for us as Christians, we need to realize that Christianity is not just for when you die, it is a relationship between you and God today and forever. God graphs you into His forever family. See because even the darkness knows that if you come into the light your deeds will be exposed. But what they forget is that God sees all that is in the hearts of all men and all their deeds are recorded that you cannot hide anything from Him (Ecclesiastes 12:14). This is both scary and comforting to me because He also knows all my sins, but it is comforting that He is so close.
God, yes the same God that created everything and holds everything together wants to know you and have a relationship with you. If you would like to start your relationship with God all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and confess Him as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9). As Christians, we should realize that it is not our job to save anyone because we cannot, our job is to plant and water the seeds and then leave the rest to God, just like farmers do, they can plant, water, and fertilize, but they cannot make them grow. It is the same with faith we can plant the seed and water them but we have to leave it to the Spirit for it to grow. This week remember what He did for us while we were still deep in our sins, He died for us because that is how much He loves us (Romans 5:8). Also, pray and thank God for what He did for you on Calvary. We also have to remember that our entire purpose here is to plant seeds and water them and show love to one another, so this week challenge yourself to plant at least one seed by telling someone about Jesus and many more by the way you live your life.
Check out the other blogs in this series A Study through the Gospel of John