Summary: Every verse in the Bible is great, but if there is a greatest verse in all the Bible… it is undoubtedly John 3:16.


A little boy was heard talking to himself as he walked across the backyard, baseball cap in place, ball and bat in his hands. "I am the greatest hitter in the world," he said. He threw the ball up, swung and missed. "Strike one," he said. But again, he told himself, "I am the greatest hitter ever." He threw the ball up again, swung and missed. He looked at the ball, and at the bat, and said, "I’m the greatest hitter that ever lived." He threw the ball up again and swung and missed a third time. This time he said, "Wow! Strike three! What a pitcher! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

I want to preach on the greatest sentence in the world.

The greatest sentence ever written is not found in some magazine, or in some book in a library, but is found in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.

This is the easiest and the hardest of all verses to preach. Easy that anyone can preach from it, but hard, because, one cannot give justice to all that is contained in it.

Every verse in the Bible is great, but if there is a greatest verse in all the Bible… it is undoubtedly John 3:16.

If you removed everything from the first word in Genesis to the last word in Revelation and had only John 3:16, there would still be enough gospel left in John 3:16 to save the whole world.

Millions of messages have been preached from this text. John 3:16 is the greatest sentence ever written.

What is so great about John 3:16?



There are DEPTHS and DEGREES to the loves we experience in this world

There is PATRIOTIC LOVE- I love old glory.

There is PARENTAL LOVE- I have heard people tell me thy never heard parents tell them.

There is PERSONAL LOVE- Loyal love of a friend for a friend or man for woman.

But all these pale in comparison to the love of God.

You can’t EXPLAIN it but you can EXPERIENCE it!

Many times the great hymn of F.M. Lehman, "The Love of God" has thrilled our hearts. The familiar first stanza goes:

The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen can ever tell,

It goes beyond the highest star

And reaches to the lowest hell;

The guilty pair, bowed down with care,

God gave His Son to win:

His erring child He reconciled

And pardoned from his sin.

Then the chorus:

O Love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forever-more endure

The saints and angels song.

The story goes that when Lehman tried to write a third verse to the song, but the words just wouldn’t fall into place. He then thought of a card he had once received that had on it a poem about the love of God. He searched for the card and soon found it. Lehman read the words on the card, and his heart was just as thrilled with the poem as it was the first time he read it. He began to voice the words of the poem with the melody he had composed for his song. They fit perfectly and he knew he had his third verse to his song, "The Love of God."

Lehman noticed at the bottom of the card some smaller but heavier printing. It told the story of the origin of the poem. It told that the poem was found written on a cell wall in a prison some 200 years earlier. It was not known why the prisoner was incarcerated; neither was it known if the words were original or if he had heard them elsewhere. Whatever the circumstances, he had written them on the wall of his prison cell. That third stanza goes:

Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill

And ev’ry man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole

Tho stretched from sky to sky.

It is a love that surpasses illustration

The love of a mother is not adequate

The love of a mate is not appropriate since so many get a divorce today.

It is a love that surmounts comprehension.

The mind of man will never be able to comprehend the love of God. The love of God is uncaused and uninfluenced. There was nothing in us to call for it. There was nothing in us to attract it.

IF we could say “God loves us because we first loved Him” we might could understand it, but just the reverse is true.

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