[For] God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ¹⁷For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. —John 3:16-17
Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. This means that any person who puts their faith in Jesus, who embraces Him as their all-satisfying treasure, will be saved. This is why Jesus came.
These verses point to a biblical depth that transcends their popularity. As well-known as John 3:16 is, it goes much deeper. John 3:17 keys us in. Beginning with the word for, verse 17 gives the reason why verse 16 is there. The reason God loved the world and thus gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life—the reason God did this—is because God is not out to condemn the world but to save it through Jesus.
Think big here. Jesus is leading us to think big. The reason the universe and our planet and human beings exist is not so that God would condemn them. He didn’t create the world to condemn it. He created the world and everything for His glory. The pinnacle of His creation is man—men and women whom God made to reflect His image and His likeness. Men and women were created to be a people for God—His image-bearing people to glorify and enjoy Him forever.
Once sin entered the world and tarnished everything, God could have condemned it. He could have ended it all then. But we see His purpose to save. There was a promised Redeemer (Genesis 3:15). The rescue began. God would make for Himself this people. He would have a people who truly reflect His majesty and find their joy in His glory, and He would save them through this Redeemer. In the fullness of time, this Redeemer came (Galatians 4:4). God’s very Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to live and die for all who would believe in Him. He died and rose again to make this people for God’s glory. That’s why He came. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
What is the relationship between verse 16 and verse 17? What is verse 17 saying?
Why did God create the world?
Why did God send Jesus?