For God So Loved the World
This, perhaps the most famous and most quoted of verses in the Brit Hadashah, epitomizes the truth of God that has come to Jews and Gentiles alike in Yeshua the Messiah. It teaches that:
- God loves His creation, the world.
- To love is to give, to love much is to give much, and God loves the world so much that He gave what is most precious to Him.
- Yeshua was fully aware in advance that He would die as God’s own sacrifice.
- Yeshua knew that he was uniquely God’s Son.
- The destiny of man when he relies on himself and does not trust in Yeshua is total destruction – not the cessation of conscious existence, but the eternal suffering that is the inevitable consequence of sin.
- The destiny of an individual who trusts in Yeshua is everlasting life – not only in the future but right now – not just survival beyond the grave, but positive life “in” Yeshua (1:4, 11:25–26).
Trusting in Yeshua is not mere intellectual acknowledgment but adherence to, commitment to, trust in, faith in, reliance upon Yeshua as fully human, wholly identified with us, and at the same time fully divine, completely identified with God.
16“For God so loved the world that he gave His only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in Him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed.
This is the very first verse I memorized (in the KJV) when my mother took me to a Baptist VBS about seventy years ago.
17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved.
The world is subject to condemnation and, in the end, will have its sinfulness condemned. But Yeshua’s first coming was not for that purpose. In the Day of Judgment, He will be the Judge who condemns the world (5:27).
18 Those who trust in Hm are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the One who is God’s only and unique Son.
Those who do not trust… Clearly, those who, upon hearing the Good News and understanding it, nevertheless refuse to trust are judged already. But what about those who have never heard of Yeshua? or who have heard but not understood? See Ro 2:14–16 and Lk 12:8–10.
19 “Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked. 20 For everyone who does evil things hates the light and avoids it so that his actions won’t be exposed. 21 But everyone who does what is true comes to the light, so that all may see that His actions are accomplished through God.” ~ Yochanan 3:16-21
This passage echoes Isaiah 59:2, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.”
Our next post will examine: Yeshua Leaves for Galilee and Meets the Women at the Well.