There are so many texts and scriptures that are people’s “go to” scriptures or even ones that pastors like to use to let their congregation know that God loves them dearly. The problem is that when they are “overused,” so to speak, they tend to get kind of watered down. They become the ol’ standbys that we throw out there when someone is struggling to find their purpose in life or whether or not God cares about them. In my opinion, the most used verse is of course John 3:16— I mean even people who have never opened a Bible know that one. We are told more frequently than anything else that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Does that even mean anything to anyone anymore? Let’s dissect this a little bit.
If God so loved the world, that He “gave” His only Son, that means He sacrificed something, or in this case someone, for the sake of something or someone else. When we give something up as a sacrifice, it has to be of some importance to us or it’s not a sacrifice, right? Usually, we sacrifice something that’s important for something/someone MORE important. So then can we assume that God saw us as more important or rather more of a pressing issue than His own Son? How many times have we had more than one of our kids who all need our attention at the exact same time? Obviously, we can’t solve more than one problem or give our full attention to more than one child at the same time. So what do we do? We decipher which of the problems, though they are all equally important to us, is the bigger issue to conquer at the moment.
God and Jesus had a plan from the beginning that mapped out what the plan was when sin entered the world. Jesus willingly gave Himself as our Savior and God willingly gave His only Son as that Savior. For a time, that was needed because of sin, You and I became of greater value than His relationship with His son. WOW! Because God knew that I would steal from a department store and get into fights causing injury to people, He gave His Son… for me! Because God knew I would start smoking at thirteen years old and get drunk at parties, He gave His Son for me. Because God knew I would come to accept Him as my Lord and Savior, He gave His Son for me.
So now when we read John 3;16, hopefully it isn’t watered down anymore. Hopefully, we read it with a new set of eyes. Whether those are 20/20 eyes or 20/400 eyes, God gives us the vision we need to read and take in His word. The Bible really can be applied to our lives today in a very tangible way.