14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One be lifted up 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. 17 God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him isn’t judged; whoever doesn’t believe in him is already judged, because they don’t believe in the name of God’s only Son. 19 “This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. 20 All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. 21 Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.” (John 3:14-21, CEB)
Everyone knows John 3:16. Even if you have never darkened the door of a church building, or been in a worship service, or cracked open a Bible.
It is seen on billboards and posters at games and places where mass attend. We know, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.” It is almost like something we learned in school. Like if you know a pastor in the Lutheran church ask them the congegation of the Greek verb λυω. It was ingained in our minds.
But to me the most important verse in this passage is the one after 16, 3:17. “God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
Jesus didn’t come to judge us but that we might be saved through Him. That we might learn how to live through Him.
God knew we were far off the wayside, so we don’t need to be judged, we need an example, we need a savior. Jesus came not to condemn, but to save us.
Believe that you are a child of God and that God loves you and chose you.
Then go into the world and love as you have been loved.
Love People, Love God.