“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Here we have the most quoted and read verse in the entire Bible. It is said that even people who don’t go to church can quote and even give the proper reference for the verse. This verse comes very early in John’s Gospel about Jesus. The earthly ministry of Jesus is probably just gaining momentum and a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night to inquire more about Him. Nicodemus mentions that the Jewish leaders realize there is something special about Jesus. If you look at verse two in this same chapter he says, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” By using the word “we” it is assumed that there were some within the Jewish leadership who could see that Jesus was something different.
Jesus then explains His reason for coming: to give eternal life. Eternal life for the Jews meant that by following laws it could be earned, but Jesus came to give eternal life to those who believe. God knew that the world was broken and was in need of salvation. God in His love gave up His Son to come to earth and die on a cross, so that those who believe will have eternal life. As believers I hope we never get tired of hearing or reading this verse. My hope is that as you meditate on this verse you can realize all that Jesus has done. He has given us new life. This talk with Jesus changed Nicodemus; it is assumed that he became a follower of Christ. Based on the fact that after Jesus died on the cross it was Nicodemus and another man who took the body of Jesus and place Him in His tomb. Reflect on the simple words of John 3:16 today and be encouraged. What do you believe?