Living Out John 3:16

Jon Burgess


16For 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. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17


The context of this verse is the key to understanding its power.

*Be Accessible & Approachable: 1Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” John 3:1-2

*Enter Discussion with Discernment: 3Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.4“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritgives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

*Be Conversational, Consistent & provide Context: 9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do no accept my testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 3No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up 15that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”


John 3:16 is considered the most famous verse in scripture as it is quoted more than other for being "the gospel in a nutshell". Rainbow Man has given his life to displaying this reference at all major sporting events. Heisman-winning American football player Tim Tebow printed this reference on his eye black during the 2009 championship. Exactly three years later on January 8, 2012, was the game that would become known as "The 3:16 game", where Tebow threw for 316 yards in a playoff upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers; a game in which measurements of 3, 16 and 31.6 were also noted, "John 3 16" became the top Google search in the US. The one I'm most familiar with is the John 3:16 printed on the bottom of the paper soda cup at In-N-Out Burger because... well, Double-Double Animal Style. As I re-read this whole passage I realized that I have been mission something and, as a consequence, it being missed by others. People shouldn't have to google search John 3:16 or search for it on the bottom of cup or rely on sports fans or players to get the word out. If I was living out the incarnational truth of John 3:16 people would be asking me in the same way this influential leader in the Jerusalem Council asked Jesus. Most often the Pharisees were adversarial with Jesus, but he made Himself accessible. It's clear from the questions ofNicodemus that he is sincerely seeking. Jesus didn't just embody John 3:16 He lived it out. He didn't just leave Heaven to come to earth he stayed relational and conversational with those who loved and hated Him. Have I so surrounded myself with those who believe the same that there are simply no opportunities for people to approach me and have conversations about spiritual things? Have I so insulated myself in the "heavenly things" that earthly focus has no relationship with me? I must do more than quote John 3:16. I must live out the incarnational truth. God so loves my neighborhood that He sent me to live there and build relationship. God so loves my city that He sent me here to work, shop, play here to get to know those who have not yet been born again.


Lord, thank you for this reminder. This lines right up with my invitation to pray with the Kalani Falcons and their new football season today. You never meant be to cloistered in an ivory tower of church business. You have called me to show Your love to the world around through relationship. You left Heaven to come to earth. You're just asking me to leave my house to cross the street.

Devotions for August 01

Isaiah 65,66
Psalms 62
John 3

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