Perhaps the most well known verse of the New Testament is John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. This is perhaps the most succinct verse in the New Testament about why God saves, how God saves, and who God saves. It follows immediately after Christ had told one of the greatest Religious teachers of the day that he needed a spiritual experience to be made right with God. To Nicodemus, a man who thought that being religious, moral, ethical and knowledgeable, Christ's words hit hard. "How can this be?" Nicodemus queried. And Christ's answer culminates in the words of John 3:16. Consider how shocking Christ's words are...
What is the stand-out word of John 3:16? For those looking for insights about God's heart, the outstanding word is "loved". For those looking for insights about God's offer, the outstanding word is "gave". For those looking for the outstanding word about the identity of God the word "Son" is the word that reveals the Triune identity of God. For those wondering who qualifies for God's love and the offer of His Son's sacrifice the word "whosoever" is the sweetest word they will ever read. For those striving to be right with God, the word "believes" commands rest to their weary soul. For those who arrogantly think that there are no consequences for their godless lives, the word "perish" should arrest them. And for those who question why this life is often unjust, tragic, and unrewarding, there is the wonderful description of the sublime quality of life that awaits summed up in the majestic word "eternal".
"God", "loved", "gave", "whosoever", "believes", "perish" and "eternal" - these are majestic and invaluable words that when put together as John 3:16 become perhaps the most unfathomable verse in the Bible. Whereas the numbers 9/11 conjure up thoughts and emotions of destruction and despair, the numbers "3:16" are now, according to Max Lucado- "the numbers of hope."