John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
I am a father. My first child was a boy. Kaleb is the son I always dreamed about having when I was younger. I’m not sure if every guy imagines having a son, but I did. I wanted a big family, but a necessity was to have a son. God blessed me and my wife with a special boy. He was born with medical issues and dealt with them his entire life. And even though he is now with the Lord, our fifteen years with him were a joy and blessing from God. Even in death, Kaleb is still my one and only son.
Our passage today tells us something about both the characteristic of God the Father, and of Jesus, His Son. The Father loves the world He created. In fact, He loves the world so much that it drove Him to make provisions for its salvation, redemption, and restoration. That provision came in the sending of His eternal Son. Jesus is God incarnate. Jesus is the human embodiment of the eternal Son of God. John’s Gospel communicates that this is an act of the Father’s love for the world.
But something else the passage informs us about is the nature of Jesus. He is the Father’s one and only Son. He is loved by the Father. The Son is of the same substance as the Father. Both are divine, eternal, and all the other attributes of the Godhead. There has never been a time when the Son was not alive. But the Son of God did something that neither the Father nor Holy Spirit ever has done, or will do. He became flesh. The transcendent God of the universe stepped into that universe. The Creator over all things (John 1:3) inhabited that creation as a creature. This is mind-blowing, to say the least.
This verse reminds us why this happened - so that we would believe in the Son. The belief discussed here is belief in who He is and in the efficacy (or power) of what He has done in paying for sins and rising from the grave. Our belief in the Son provides us eternal life. We will not perish in our sins, but will live forever with God.
Reflection & Journal
What things can be learned about God just from this verse?
How do we gain eternal life and forgiveness of our sins?
Why does belief in the Son provide us with salvation? How does belief pay our sins?