For God so loved the world ...

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

The text of John 3:16 is the most well known verse in all of the bible but the verses surrounding it are not as well known. In these verses we see the way that God interacts with man. Consider how the Israelis acted, and how God responded, when their camp was infested with deadly snakes as they were headed to the promised land:
The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”
Did you notice the interaction? People acknowledged their sin then looked to God in the form of an image lifted high on a pole. Such is still the way today. The Israelis were saved from death by looking at the hoisted serpent and in the same way people today are saved when they confess their sin and look to Christ lifted up on the cross.

I believe in you Jesus. I confess my sins and look to your sacrifice on the cross.


  1. I've often thought that Bob...we miss SO much by not including the verses above and below the most famous verse in the Bible.

    I'm so glad I lifted my eyes to the Cross, and He looked down and forgave me.

    Thinking of your trip this weekend. Loving you and Ann.

  2. Amen. The context is so important. We stand condemned already becuase of our sin; and if we don't believe then doubly so. The way to eternal life is so simple! Thank you Jesus :)


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