For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)
I would guess for almost all of us, John 3:16 is the first Bible verse
we ever heard, and certainly the first verse we memorized. It’s on T-
shirts and signs. It’s “The Gospel in a Nutshell.” It is so common and
so ingrained in every Christian, that maybe--just maybe, we miss the
incredible impact and the scope of this beautiful verse.
For it is in this verse that God, in fact Jesus Himself, gives us His plan
from the beginning of time into eternity.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were
made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was
made. John 1:1-3 (ESV)
“For God so loved the world…” The universe, the earth, the seas, light,
the animals, and human beings were all created in love by God. All to
His glory, to love God and to be loved by Him. Jesus was there from
before the beginning of time as we know it—and He was always part of
…Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29b (ESV)
…that He gave His only Son… And because God knew we would sin, that
we would stumble and fall, His plan included giving us His only Son in
love to take away our sin so that we could be recreated--reborn in Him
and through Him.
But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the
right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of
the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
And as God’s plan comes to completion, the restoration is complete. We
are restored to eternal life and an eternal love relationship with God,
our Father and our Creator.
So in that one verse, in John 3:16, God has said, “This is my plan.” It’s all
there, from the beginning of time until eternity in one sentence—in one
And the focal point of that plan, where all of time and eternity flows
into and out of in one glorious, incredible moment of love beyond all
measure, is The Cross.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in
the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 (ESV)