Ask any Christian who has been a Christian for more than six months to quote John 3:16 and nearly every one of them can say it verbatim without even thinking about it. Yet perhaps few really do take the time to think about it. This verse is often casually overlooked rather than esteemed as a profound revelation of who God is. It has become a cliché among God’s people.
Rather than dismiss its simplicity, Christians should unveil for themselves the simple yet profound truth found in John 3:16. This verse speaks of God giving a gift to mankind. But that gift was more intimately connected with and more indescribably precious to God than many Christians may realize. When God gave the gift of His Son Jesus Christ, He was giving from Himself the one and only thing that could redeem the souls of mankind. The compassion and the mercy that God had for mankind far outweighed the grief of the knowledge that so few would receive Him. Yet He gave anyway.
Jesus was not an afterthought; He was intentional. Jesus was not plan B; He was the plan. God did not give Jesus because He needed to; God gave because He wanted to. He gave so that mankind could have the opportunity to receive forgiveness for sin. He gave so that mankind could have the authority to trample Satan beneath their feet. He gave so that mankind could experience true intimacy and fellowship with their Creator. It was for this that God gave His Son.
God knew the depth of mankind’s depravity without a Savior. Without Jesus Christ, there could be no reconciliation. There could be no deliverance from death. There could be no purpose to life and no hope for everlasting life. It should be humbling to realize that a personal God gave such a personal gift to the entire human race. The tiny babe that was born in the tiny town of Bethlehem was to be the Redeemer. The shepherds found Him lying in a manger. But Christians today can find Him dwelling within them. The gift that God gave two thousand years ago is now very near and dear to those who call upon His name.