July 11, 2011
V 18 …the name of the only son of God
I think that if someone only has the very briefest knowledge of the bible, they would know John 3:16. If they knew nothing else, or if they didn’t want to know anything else, they would know God loved them. I mean that is what John 3:16 is all about right; God loving the world and sending His son to die for it? Yes, sort of. God did send Jesus to die for the world so that whoever believes on His name will be saved. Interestingly enough, this statement “for the world” was a big one for John’s audience. Prior to this statement the only people it was believed that God was interested in saving were the Jews, yet, here is proof that the Messiah will be sent for everyone who believes. Believes in what…isn’t that the question, do we only have to be a good and sincere person believing in anything we want in order to gain eternal life? I think that the familiarity with John 3:16 allows us to really overlook those verses around it, or at least it has me because until this morning I’ve never really noticed the phrase in verse 18. “…the name of the only son of God” that gets very specific doesn’t it? Everybody young or old, dead or still alive, fall into two categories: those who believe in Jesus, and those who do not. God is not lukewarm in His affection; He loves the one and condemns the other (v18). Why would He send His “only Son” to die for a people and then turn around and give them eternal life whether they believe or not? Does that make sense? What would have been the purpose for Jesus’ suffering if every “good” person was going to be saved anyway? I think it’s much easier for people, both lost and saved, to believe that God will save all the “good” people, yet His Word is clear that “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (v 18).