The Meaning of The Message
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
In turning our attention to the above portion we are not surprised to learn that there is such holy and blessed teaching gathered up in this wondrous verse that it has been called The Gospel in a Nutshell, God’s Golden Gem and The Bible in Miniature.
Truly the message and meaning of such a verse is the unfolding of the divine counsels. It is the revelation of those divine plans and purposes which were conceived in Eternity by the great heart of love of our God.
It is the remarkable record of what God counselled in the silence of Eternity so as to make known His nature, His character, His love, Himself. What a Revelation!
What a unique unfolding of the heart of God!
What a deep, rich and full expression of the divine bosom!
What holy and blessed truths are gathered up in this one verse!
What food for musing and meditation!
What a theme for thought! What wonder for worship!
What holy, happy and hallowed truths are seen in this verse concerning the LOVE of God!
Surely our hearts may draw much comfort and consolation from these rich stores of divine truth and grace. Yes, rich stores which carry an exceedingly interesting and profoundly affecting truth, which guided by the Holy Spirit would surely lead us to prayerfully ponder over the deeply profound wonders and ways of the love of God as magnified and fully manifested in God’s only begotten Son. What a manifestation!
In this verse we have the highest expression of the LOVE of God as revealed in Christ Jesus.
This message excels and exceeds in a scale of greatness by far that of any truth previously made known. Where will you find even a hint in any of the books comprising the Old Testament of the truth of John 3:16?
Throughout the Old Testament there were many servants of God, including patriarchs, prophets and psalmists, to whom repeated revelations of the Lord were given. These divinely chosen and commissioned messengers whose names are for ever revered, and whose work and witness extended throughout a period of thousands of years, during which they witnessed amongst many other truths to the coming of Christ whose work was foretold and foreshadowed, predicted and depicted, throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. Read 1 Peter 1:11.
Yet the most distinguished writer, worker or witness of the Lord in the Old Testament was not privileged or permitted to tell of the distinctive blessing of the Love of God as set forth in the words of John 3:16.
Think of the heights to which Isaiah rose as he delighted in the grandeur and greatness of his prophetic utterances, and that of many others of those who witnessed for God in the Old Testament.
But never, never upon the lips of any person of the Old Testament times trembled the words of our lovely verse. As the different dispensations passed and the stream of time continued on its divinely appointed course, these thrice blessed words of life and light were specially held in reserve for the coming forth in matchless mercy and limitless love of God’s only Son. From Him, for the first time, we hear the marvellous message, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Little wonder then that since these wonderful words of life were first uttered they have brought millions of mankind to trust in the Saviour, Son of God. For the unfolding of this wondrous message God sent forth the darling of His bosom, who made known in an understandable way the exceedingly interesting and profoundly affecting truth of the heart of God. We must have here the most elevated, devoted development of truth concerning the bosom of God to be found upon the imperishable pages of inspiration. We also have here the precious presentation of our Lord, the setting forth of His glory and the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, The Blessed Revealer of the heart and mind of God. It is a verse in this respect unequalled in the Holy Scriptures.
What a privileged people we are to have this particular verse of the Sacred Scriptures! May we ever seek the needed grace and guidance to muse and meditate over and over again upon the elevated character and range of truth presented to our wondering and worshipping hearts in that precious portion of the Gospel of John. May we ever have a strong spiritual attachment for this particular verse because amidst the darkness and departure of these days our hearts are sustained in the fulness, the freshness and the fragrance of the blessed words of John 3:16.
We are thus forcefully reminded that the total number of words in our text are twenty-five, and a point of immense importance which we would do well to always bear in mind is that the centre word is that of three wonderful letters, the word SON, who is the centre of divine affection (John 1:18). We have in this wondrous word the message —
In our verse we also see the good news of the blessed fact that:
God, so loved the world, that He gave His
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not
Perish, but have
We further see in our verse:
Story is that
What a message!
In view of these truths there is an indescribable charm and peculiar sweetness in the twenty-five wonderful words of this verse, the depth and tenderness of which tranquilizes the heart, the mind and the soul.
Oh, what a verse!