“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. - John 3:16
It is probably the most widely known verse in the bible; most of us were familiar with it long before we were even capable of reading it for ourselves. So much of our evangelistic programs are built on and around it and for good enough reason. But have you ever read it from Jesus’ perspective? One could be excused for thinking that Jesus may have felt like He was getting the short end of the stick here but that line of reasoning would nevertheless be incorrect.
Modern Christianity is largely blinded to the depth of the love, the complete unity, the single mindedness, the exact likeness, the perichoresis and the shared attributes within the Godhead. I was reading through the book of John recently and when I came to the last verse of chapter 14 my heart just jumped. It reads:-
“But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.”
The context here is chapters 14 through 17 and is sometimes referred to as ‘the Farewell Discourse’. Jesus is speaking to the disciples the evening before He will be crucified. A great deal of the content within the 4 chapters reveals the intimacy found within the Trinity and our glorious inheritance received in Him. “In my Fathers abode there are many dwellings…the Father dwells in Me…I in the Father and the Father in Me…and He will give you another Helper that He may abide in you forever…He dwells with you and will be in you…I will come to you…At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you…We will come to him and make our home in him…Abide in Me…He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit…by this the Father is glorified…As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you, abide in my love” (snippets of chapter 14 and 15).
One should see immediately that Jesus was not talking about inheriting a 5-bedroom mansion up in the sky one day as is so commonly believed. What a pitifully diluted picture of heaven that is... But getting back to that last verse in chapter 14; I was suddenly struck when reading it that it so echoed the words of John 3:16 but from Jesus’ own perspective. What it says and reveals to us about Jesus is this:-
For the Son so loved the Father that He gave Himself, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life; found only in Him.
Short, sweet and amazingly beautiful.