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John 3 verse 16 & 17

20-12-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet

1_blog_14 John 3 verse 16 has the reputation of being the very best well-known Bible verse. But is that correct?

For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.

These words are written against the background of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel (3:10). Let’s take a closer look at the words. FOR – explains the foregoing, including why the Son of Man must be exalted (14). THUS – i.e. in this manner. GOD – lit. the God, Gr. ho theos, which is the Placer. He who gives everyone and everything a place. LOVES – Gr. agape, which means unconditional love. Love that one can not earn or lose. The Greek verb is timeless (aorist). God loves – no matter when. THE WORLD – Gr. the cosmos. It is the world that was created by the word of God, but did not know Him (1:10). A dark world (1:9). Nevertheless: God loves this world. SO THAT HE GIVES HIS ONLY begotten SON – the only man, ever, conceived by God Himself, came to prove that God’s love for the world has no boundaries. THAT EVERYONE – i.e. anyone in the world. WHO IS BELIEVING IN HIM – i.e. looks up to the exalted Son of God (cp : 14; exalted snake). SHOULD NOT BE PERISHING – in verse 14, reference was made to the Israelites who were in danger of dying due to snake bites. This is illustrative of the position of mankind. Because of the lie of ‘the snake’ all mankind is condemned to die. BUT MAY BE HAVING LIFE Eonian – that is not “the endless eternity, but the life of the age to come (Luke 18:30). That age (aion/eon) is not the last of the ages/eons, but the first age/eon in which Christ will reign Is herewith, everything said why God gave His Son? No, verse 17 is an integral part of verse 16. That is already evident from the first word.

For God does not dispatch His Son into the world that He should be judging the world, but that the world may be saved through Him.

The person who now believes receives eonian life. That is John 3:16. But it cannot stop there, because God loves the world. That is why God sent His Son: for the salvation of the world. That is John 3:17. Without 3:17, 3:16 is incomplete. God loves the world and He wants to save the world. Christianity has written off the world, because she does not believe. But by this attitude they prove not even to know the Lamb of God! After all, the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). And the sin of the world is … unbelief (John 16:8.9). God sent his Son “so that the world may be saved through him” and the Son “is also the Savior of the world” (John 4:42; 1Joh.4:14). That is the message we have for this world. And every one who now is given (!) to believe, in addition, also receive the life of the coming age/eon.