For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 NRSV
We hear John 3:16 so often that I think we (Christians and non-believers) have become rather numb to its real meaning. I would like to look at these two verses from John's gospel from a fresh perspective this week. For today, I would like to contemplate the first word that strikes me as one to which I have paid little attention.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that God so loved the world. The world! I have always heard and understood this scripture as a personal statement made to me - the individual believer.
However, the verse doesn't say God loved me. It doesn't say God loved the one who believes. Jesus says that God loved the world.
Jesus Christ did not come to save me. Jesus Christ came to save the world.
A sobering and eye-opening thought!
God, we too often think of Christ's saving action in terms of us personally. We tend to overlook the fact that he came and died for the sake of the whole world. Expand our vision, our understanding and our love. In His name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims