Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ever Heard Of John 3:17?

I stumbled on this website cool4christ and it has for sale a really cool T-shirt with a design that spoofs the TV series Heroes (picture left). 

What attracted me initially was the spoof of the Heroes logo but as I examined the design closely, I was drawn to the scripture verse at the bottom:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:17

In the very first post of my blog, I mentioned that one of the first verses we memorized in Sunday School was John 3:16. I still remember John 3:16 till this day but I don't recall ever being asked to memorize John 3:17 .

As I saw the John 3:17 verse on the T-shirt, my heart was deeply stirred because a lot of Christians (including me as recently as 5 years ago) are going about their Christian walk under a cloud of condemnation, as if God sent his Son to condemn the world!

Look at John 3:17 again! God did NOT send his Son to condemn the world. This is confirmed by Romans 8:1 - Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Even when we fail now and then, we must know that God does not condemn us. He sent Jesus to take care of that failure and "we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus." (Heb 10:19)

God sent Jesus into the world, not to condemn but to SAVE the world. We usually think of "save" here as in being rescued from the fires of hell. "SAVE" transliterated as sōzō in Greek means much more than that.

Thayer Definition:
1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction
1a) one (from injury or peril)
1a1) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
1b1) to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue
1b) to save in the technical biblical sense
1b1) negatively
1b1a) to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
1b1b) to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance

As you can see, through Jesus we also have protection, health and healing. Even before Jesus was born, his destiny was already established by God:

Luke 1:31 (NKJV)
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

God revealed his will for Jesus through the very name that he gave: JESUS which in Hebrew is YESHUA - He Will Save.

Strong's Concordance:
For H3091; he will save; Jeshua, the name of two Israelites, also of a place in Palestine: - Jeshua.

It is God's will that He will save the world through His Son, Jesus and that is why on the night he was betrayed, Jesus prayed:

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42 (NLT)

So the next time you feel condemned for whatever reason, remember John 3:17. Memorize it!


Malcolm Loh said...

Amen, Bro! What a revelation!

what I also discovered recently was that Jesus spoke all those words found in Jn 3 not to His disciples at that point in time, but to Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee!

Nicodemus came to look for Jesus in the middle of the night, so as not to be seen by his peers. [Reminds me of how some leaders from other traditional churches come incognito to attend NewCre's midweek services...]

When Jesus told him that He came to save and not condemn the world, it is no wonder that Nico was libertated from his law-based beliefs and that is why we read later on jn 19:39

"He (Joseph of Arimathea) was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds".

There are no insignificant details in the bible, so we can see the impact those words of our Lord had in liberating a person so steep in the Law of Moses. We forget that before Saul of Tarsus was, Nico was already :-D

Daughter Of Sarah said...

What an insightful read!! All this focus on John 3:16, but we forget about what he continues to say in 3:17.

LOL Malcolm! Really enjoyed reading your comment.

I will share on my blog with the others about what you guys shared.

Excellent reminders. ..

Jeffrey said...

Ha ha Bro,

You hit the nail on the head again.

Jesus did not let the cup of suffering pass Him so that we would not have to let the cup of blessing pass us when we partake of Holy Communion.

Mtt 26:39, 1 Cor 10:16-17