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. 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.” vss. 16-17John 3:11-17
John 3:16 is arguably the most memorized verse in all of our scripture, and deservedly so. It contains the kernel of the gospel and is a powerful declaration of God’s universal love. It’s a verse to remember through the worst of times, those moments when we doubt our own worthiness, and despair about the state of our world. Unfortunately some have distorted its grace-filled core by using it as a pretext to exclude and condemn. Illogically they have concluded that since those who believe in Jesus have eternal life, those who do not believe do not. The gospel writer evidently knew that many would react in that way, because he hastened to add John 3:17 as a corrective. Jesus does not condemn unbelievers. On the contrary, he came into the world that the world might be saved through him, and that includes all people, even the ungodly. Rather than use this gospel verse to separate and divide the people of our world, followers of Jesus will always use it to celebrate the love of God for all, especially those whose faith expressions are different from our own.
Thought for the Day: Why is having like-minded friends not always a good thing?