John 3:16-17

Thoughts from Brian Cook

Dive Deeper

WYAIC Slider- wk 5
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“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17

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While this week's verse is one of the most famous in the entire Bible, let's take a deeper look into the conversation around this verse. Jesus said these words to Nicodemus, in the evening sometime after Jesus cleared the temple in Jerusalem. Nicodemus had come to Jesus and explained that he believed Jesus was a teacher sent from God.

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Now, Nicodemus was a devout Pharisee, as well as a member of the Sanhedrin court, an exclusive group of Pharisee Leaders. This implies that Nicodemus was a teacher himself and an expert on Jewish law and culture. However, through his conversation with Jesus, we can see that even this expert had trouble understanding the transformational love of God.

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As he and Jesus are discussing being reborn in the Spirit, Jesus explains the Gospel truth found in today's verses. Jesus wanted to explain to Nicodemus that because of the abundant and great love of God, whoever believes in Jesus is saved, and invited into living fellowship with God, both now and forever. He even emphasizes his message by repeating the sentiment in verse 17. He repeats that God sent Jesus to save the world, thus opening the invitation of fellowship to all people, not just the religious elite.

wk5-MIR
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This week's verse shows us how we are so loved by God. Like Nicodemus, I can have a tough time trying to really grasp how loved I am. I struggle to accept the love of God because it feels like I don’t deserve it. My favorite part of this week's verse explains that God did not send Jesus into the world to shame us. His purpose was not to show exactly how much we don’t deserve grace. God sent Jesus into the world to save us because He loves us so much.

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I have been reflecting on that love and realized the freedom that it brings. The open invitation to be in fellowship with God and with His people, and that God’s love can be truly transformational in my life. Because God loved me so much, He chose to forgive me. Because God loves me so much, I can choose to forgive others. Because God loves me so much, I can choose to forgive myself. I can choose to see myself and others as absolutely and abundantly loved.

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Lord God, thank you for loving us so abundantly that You would send Your Son so that we could live in fellowship with you forever. Thank you for forgiving us and for giving us an identity of absolutely loved. Help us to feel the love that you give. Help us to show your incredible love to other people. Lord, I pray we will forgive others and ourselves the way that you have forgiven us. Help us to see our neighbors as absolutely loved by You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.” 

John 3:16-17 

Behind the Scenes

While this week’s verse is one of the most famous in the entire Bible, let’s take a deeper look into the conversation around this verse. Jesus said these words to Nicodemus, in the evening sometime after Jesus cleared the temple in Jerusalem. Nicodemus had come to Jesus and explained that he believed Jesus was a teacher sent from God.  

Now, Nicodemus was a devout Pharisee, as well as a member of the Sanhedrin court, an exclusive group of Pharisee Leaders. This implies that Nicodemus was a teacher himself and an expert on Jewish law and culture. However, through his conversation with Jesus, we can see that even this expert had trouble understanding the transformational love of God.  

As he and Jesus are discussing being reborn in the Spirit, Jesus explains the Gospel truth found in today’s verses. Jesus wanted to explain to Nicodemus that because of the abundant and great love of God, whoever believes in Jesus is saved, and invited into living fellowship with God, both now and forever. He even emphasizes his message by repeating the sentiment in verse 17. He repeats that God sent Jesus to save the world, thus opening the invitation of fellowship to all people, not just the religious elite.  

Make it Real

This week’s verse shows us how we are so loved by God. Like Nicodemus, I can have a tough time trying to really grasp how loved I am. I struggle to accept the love of God because it feels like I don’t deserve it. My favorite part of this week’s verse explains that God did not send Jesus into the world to shame us. His purpose was not to show exactly how much we don’t deserve grace. God sent Jesus into the world to save us because He loves us so much.  

I have been reflecting on that love and realized the freedom that it brings. The open invitation to be in fellowship with God and with His people, and that God’s love can be truly transformational in my life. Because God loved me so much, He chose to forgive me. Because God loves me so much, I can choose to forgive others. Because God loves me so much, I can choose to forgive myself. I can choose to see myself and others as absolutely and abundantly loved.  

Rebecca Dyer

Rebecca Dyer

ACF Devo Team

End in Prayer

Lord God, thank you for loving us so abundantly that You would send Your Son so that we could live in fellowship with you forever. Thank you for forgiving us and for giving us an identity of absolutely loved. Help us to feel the love that you give. Help us to show your incredible love to other people. Lord, I pray we will forgive others and ourselves the way that you have forgiven us. Help us to see our neighbors as absolutely loved by You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.