“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 It’s maybe the most iconic verse in the Bible. Probably the most widely known. It tells of God’s love for us. It tells of Jesus and what He does for us. But do we follow? We all love the verse. But do we love the reality of Jesus? Do we really appreciate what Jesus’ love does? Because while Jesus’ love saves, it also lays down a gauntlet. Jesus saves, but He also calls. He asks us to re-prioritize our lives. He wants us to view things differently because of Him. The Bible doesn’t start and stop with John 3:16. That verse doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s surrounded by thousands of pages of scripture and volumes of teaching. And if we read just a few verses father we come to another reality. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” – John 3:19 Remember the story of Jesus removing demons from a man and then sending them into a herd of pigs? Remember what happened? The herd of pigs ran into the sea and drown right? But another thing happened as well. A man was healed. The Bible says, “When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.” – Luke 8:34-35 If the Bible contained emoticons I’m pretty sure a frowny face would show up here. Because this is sad. John 3:16 shows up, the love of God that gives eternal life shows up, and people are afraid. The passage continues to say, “And those who had seen it told them how the demon possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So He got into the boat and returned.” -Luke 8:36-37 Frowny face again. The light of the world was right in front of them and they didn’t see it. A tortured man was healed and they didn’t care. They saw the pigs instead. The pigs were more valuable than a mans life. The pigs were more valuable than their own eternal life. What’s more valuable in our lives? Is our job more valuable than life? Is entertainment more valuable than a person? Would we rather keep the status quo than accept Jesus? The questions seem so easy, but too often our answers are far too wrong. The love of Christ will force out the love of this world. We all want salvation. We all love John 3:16. But will we give up the things getting in their way? Will we tear down the wall that separates us from God’s love. Jesus has placed the explosives that can destroy it, all that’s left is for the button to be pushed. But that’s our job. Can we do our job? Can we blow up that wall? Do we want it gone? Focus on the right thing. Focus on Jesus. He’s more important than the pigs. You’re more important than the pigs.
Jesus Loves You,