What Does John 3:16 Say About the Christian Message?

As a young child growing up in West Virginia, I’m sure someone made me remember the words. I’m sure a well-loving and thoughtful Sunday School teacher made me memorize the words to John 3:16, for I have known these words since I was a young child.

“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.” (NIV)

It is almost a rite of passage to be able to recite these 26 words.

These words have passion. These words have meaning. These words are the most famous in all of Scripture.

And, we see them everywhere. From billboards to signs at athletic competitions to a recent book by Max Lucado this verse has become a hallmark passage for the Christian faith, and for good reason.

But, why is that? Why has this passage become so special and so beloved over some other passages in the Bible? John 3:16 is more recognized than some of my personal favorites like Micah 6:8 “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” or even Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

To understand why John 3:16 is so important, we have to understand the meaning of this passage. What is Jesus trying to convey to us about this passage? What does John 3:16 really mean?

By walking through this passage, I believe, we will see that this sentence has a theological depth that gets to the heart of the Christian faith and what it means to follow Christ with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Continue reading “What Does John 3:16 Say About the Christian Message?”