On Wednesday I posted this to FB, the beginning of a weekly one minute of reflection. I chose John 3:16. You can also see it below. From now on I will post it here on Wednesdays too. But today is Friday, and here is a short follow up as bonus coverage. There is no extra fee for this, no surcharges. Unless you’ve gone over the limits of your data plan. And I can’t help you with that.
Friday Follow Up to John 3:16 – The conversations with Jesus immediately before and after John 3:16 are interesting. Before, Jesus is approached at night by Nicodemus, who is a Pharisee, the dominant religious authority of the day. Jesus tells him he needs a spiritual birth. The next recorded conversation Jesus has (John 4) is at noon by a well outside of a village with a disgraced Samaritan woman whose life was a relational train wreck. By cultural norms of the day, he shouldn’t have been talking with her at all. The contrasts are obvious and show the extremes of the kind of person Jesus is reaching out to. His love has no limits. God, help me to be like Jesus, showing and speaking grace and truth to power and the hurting.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” If you ever remembered just one Bible verse, there’s a good chance it was this one.
God’s heart reaches out in love for ALL people, everywhere. Not just the ones who seem kind of like me. He infinitely and limitlessly loves each and every person of every ethnicity, every language, and every religion…and even no religion. He is the essence of non-discrimination.
His love compelled him to give his only Son. His love caused sacrificial action. Giving his Son was not just a metaphor for the ultimate expression of love. This giving accomplished something real for all time for every person. It made possible a relationship with God himself, our Creator.
And now the tension point. Like all real love, it can’t be forced on anyone. I still have to decide if I will believe in him, or put my trust in him to rescue me, i.e. so I won’t “perish”.
If I don’t think I need to be rescued, do I really “believe in him”? I may believe a lot of nice things about Jesus’ life and teachings, but I wouldn’t be trusting in him for the heartfelt reason God sent him. But by believing in Jesus I can be rescued from the prison of my incredibly flawed and broken human nature. And that’s eternal life. For that, I need to trust Him every day.