Saturday, March 22, 2014

John 3:16-17 (ESV)

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.  17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

How many times have you encountered John 3:16?  It must be one of the most recognized pieces of Scripture, if not the most recognized.

And so it should be!  After all, it contains the heart of the Gospel—God loves the world; so much so that he sent his only Son to save it (v. 17).  And we are not just spectators here—if we really believe that God sent his Son to save the world, we won’t perish when we die.  Instead, we will enjoy eternal life!

Wow:  sixty-six books of the Bible condensed into two sentences!  God certainly gave St. John a way with words.

So—do you believe it?  Well, of course you do!  You wouldn’t be reading these words if you didn’t believe it, or at least were attracted to it.  Maybe you’ve heard John 3:16 since you were a child; maybe it was the first piece of scripture you memorized.

So—does John 3:16 bring you peace?  Well, it can!  Do you recall Jesus’ words to his disciples when he first appeared to them in the Gospel according to John?  It was “Peace be with you” (John 20:19b).  As we all know, Jesus is God’s Son who saved the world, the One we are to believe in.  If we believe in Jesus, we will not perish.  Instead, we will enjoy eternal life!

And this is the good news!

Right now, your life may not be filled with peace.  Perhaps your life resembles the disciples’ lives when Jesus first appeared to them.  They were filled with fear and anxiety on that day; things had gone terribly wrong.  Death was near; all seemed lost.

And then their Eternal Life appeared to them, offering . . . peace.

Lord, let the peace of your eternal presence engulf us.