The Weekly Perspective
by Joe Thacker, Pastor
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. — John 3:16–17
Verse 16 is speaking first, and most fundamentally, to the love of God, and note that He loved the world in such a way that He gave. A supreme act of the giving love of God was demonstrated in the Incarnation and Crucifixion of His Son. Even as Paul declares in Romans, but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (5:8).
Verse 17 parallels verse 16: as God gave, so He sent His Son. Was Jesus given, was He sent for Israel alone? No, the Son was given and sent for the sake of the world, for the sake of all humanity. He was sent to be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should have eternal life (3:14-15). Though deserving of judgment, the world was sent a Savior. Instead of condemnation rendered, love is lavished.
Do you want to see the measure of God’s love? Look first to the manger; see the Child wrapped in swaddling cloths, and there behold the love of God. Then look to the Man stripped of all and lifted up on the cross, and yet again behold the love of God. Behold Him and believe that, for the sake of the world, the cross was the ultimate destination of the manger.