*The Two John 3:16's
I have something embarassing to confess. I have, on occasion, turned to the wrong passage when in church. It typically plays out like this: the preacher will ask us to turn to a particular chapter and verse, and for some reason, I turn to the wrong place. Then, not knowing I'm looking in the wrong place, I'll try to read along with the speaker.
When I first notice that his words don't match what I am reading, I assume that there must be a difference in translations. "It's probably the NIV," I think to myself. Then, as I follow along even more, I realize the truth: He's in Corinthians, and I'm in Chronicles. Or I have the right book, but he's in chapter 4, and I'm in chapter 5.
Has this happened to anyone else but me?
I recently discovered that there are some remarkable similarities between the most famous verse
in the entire bible, John 3:16, and its almost-namesake, 1 John 3:16.
John 3:16"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
1 John 3:16"By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers."
The first similarity is that both verses are talking about the same event: the death of Jesus on the Cross. Second, they both talk about the love necessary to carry out this event. But notice one very important difference between the two. John 3:16 is told from the perspective of the Father. 1 John 3:16 focuses instead of what the Son went through.
I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to allow my son to die a brutal death, even if I were assured beforehand that he would be alive again in just 3 days. Yet John 3:16 tells us that the Father of Jesus was willing to make this sacrifice, and love was His motivation: "for God so loved the world . . "
At the same time, I cannot imagine what kind of love Jesus must have had to be willing to die for people He didn't even know. Again, this verse tells us He was motivated by love.
We are told to be reminded of the broken body and spilled blood of Jesus when we take Communion, as this is indisputable evidence of His great love for us. It should be also emphasized that the Father had, and still has, great love for you and for me. Think of this when you take that bread and cup.
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