In first part of John chapter 3, a man named Nicodemus meets with Jesus and hears about life anew. This new life that Jesus gives is to be enjoyed in the here and now, and it goes on forever. One verse later, Jesus continues in one of the best known scriptures from the New Testament.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Nicodemus probably heard that as a summary of what he had already been discussing with Jesus. It is a personal message and a popular passage for those of us who believe that Jesus is our Lord. Jesus came to save us, and that he has done. Because Jesus came, we have the power to claim our places as the children of God (refer to John 1:10-13). Because Jesus came, we have seen God’s love in action. Because Jesus came, my life as a believer (and your life as a believer) is different, exciting, and filled with meaning and purpose.
And as a follower of Jesus, I need to remember that the love that I have experienced from God is not just for me, it is the same love that God is directing toward the world. John 3:16 is followed by John 3:17:
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
God’s love is still at work, saving the world through Jesus Christ. That was the purpose for Christ’s coming; to save the world. As Jesus’ disciple and God’s child, I need to make sure that
I look at everyone I meet as deserving of Jesus’ saving grace, and that I share the love of Christ with them so that this grace might be revealed.
Wonderful God, thank You for saving me through Jesus Christ. Now make me an instrument of Your peace, grace, and love, so that those I encounter today may sense Your saving presence for them too. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.