Summary: Don't give up, I'm a WHOSOEVER, God's Love, It's God's Choice
John 3:16 (KJV): “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.’
To fully understand the completeness of the meaning of John 3;16, one must view it in the context of Jesus’ entire conversation with Nicodemus which is captured in verses 1-21 of John’s Gospel.
There you will find that the conversation of Jesus with this ruler of the Jews and teacher of the Israelites was to enlighten him “Nicodemus” on things that he should have already known and taught. - after all, Nicodemus was “a member of the Jews council”
In the text, we find that Jesus challenges Nicodemus’ worth (or merit) as a teacher by asking;“Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?” John 3:10
I believe it was the intent of Jesus to move Nicodemus to a deeper level of thinking and understanding of Himself as the Word of God and as the rightful King of the Kingdom of God; also to bring Nicodemus into the personal revelation of the reason for God’s Kingdom. You will notice that Nicodemus came with a “we” approach;
John 3:2 (KJV) “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
But left with a “me” or “I” approach.
Matthew 7:28-29 “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teacher of the law.
For the 1st time, Nicodemus has come face to face, eyeball to eyeball with the Living Word, of which he was responsible for teaching and upholding.
Mark 1:22 "And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.”
Can you imagine actually feeling the weight and authority of the Word of God, as Jesus speaks? Now the interviewer is being interviewed.
Luke 24:32 (KJV) “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
In Jesus’ eye, it was imperative that upon Nicodemus’s departure, regardless of the hour, Nicodemus had to understand three imperatives (or Must Haves); for him to remain a teacher of God’s Word and for him to see the Kingdom of God.
John 3:3 (KJV) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
I.) God’s Love. II.) God’s Gift III.) God’s Grace
I.) God’s Love John 3:16a “For God so loved the world. . . .”
As a teacher, Nicodemus you must understand that;
God’s love is unconditional:
Unconditional: wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, never questions.
God’s love does not require reciprocity:
Reciprocity: the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.
God’s love is Universal:
Universal: Widespread, overarching, omnipresent, all-embracing
God’s love is extended from heaven to earth for all who accept and believe to receive.
1 John 4:9 (NIV): “This is how God's love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.”
Psalm 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
“Love gives, and does not require” Elliott Commentary
Matthew 5:45. “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Romans 5:8 “But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“A true understanding of God’s love for you begins with one’s delight in knowing about Him; followed by one’s continuously seeking and desiring to be near Him - to hear from.” - Pastor Paul E. Davis
God sees the heart of the person and while overlooking the condition of their life. God’s extend love is not predicated you getting right with Him, His love is already given to you.
Here the take home point for us today:
II.) God’s Gift. John 3:16b "that he gave His only begotten Son”
The true gift given in the verse and to humanity from the beginning of time is “understanding”. God has gift man with the ability to perceive, to comprehend, to reason, to apprehend a thought, to graph the meaning of something greater than themselves.
Psalm 8: Appreciation for the Gift
O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!