“John 3:16 takes us upriver to the headwaters of human existence. Once we find the source of life, it’s easier to stay on course. . . . Though spoken more than two thousand years ago [these wonderful words of Jesus] are as relevant as this morning’s headlines. He loved. He gave. We believe. We live. It’s that simple. It’s that vital.”- Max Lucado (emphasis Max’s)
In his Introduction to 3:16 – The Numbers of Hope, Max Lucado observes that we best solve problems when we trace them to their beginnings. This teaching strategy explains Pastor Lucado’s fascination with the most well-known verse in the Bible — John 3:16. Because no Bible verse contains more significance than that single sentence. In addition, Max asserts, each word deserves a deep dive.
Above all, Pastor Lucado finds the words of John 3:16 fresh and stunning each time he reads the words. Just like his first encounter with them. Furthermore, Max explains:
“John 3:16 does for the human heart what my coach attempted to do for my golf swing. It invites us to get to the root of the human story. We tend to do the opposite. We focus on the fruit. Am I well-employed, well-paid, well-built, well-received by people in my world? Valid questions, for sure, but John 3:16 bids us to go deeper. Who is God? Why does his love matter? Do I matter? (emphasis Pastor Lucado’s)
Moving on to Chapter 1 (“The Most Famous Conversation in the Bible”), Max talks about the pivotal meeting between Nicodemus and Jesus (John 3:1-21). Hence, according to John’s account:
“This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ “- John 3:2-3 (NKJV)
In conclusion, Max exhorts us to behold this Continental Divide of Scripture, this international dateline of faith. Nicodemus stands on one side, Jesus on the other. And Jesus pulls no punches regarding their differences!
Today’s question: Do you agree that John 3:16 leads us to the headwaters of human existence? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “An entryway into the heartland”