Today’s Reading: John 3:16-21
“For 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 3:17
God’s salvation is both universal and particular. It is universal because no one is exempted from it. God loved the world — the entire human race. It is particular because God’s love is located in one place — His only-begotten Son. To paraphrase: God loved the world in this one particular way, He sent His only-begotten Son.
God’s purpose in sending His Son was not to condemn the world but to save humanity. However, the reality is that most of humanity rejects God’s salvation. They think either it is too good to be true or that there must be some other way. Most people refuse to receive the free gift offered in the Word made flesh. The result is God’s judgment, “the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
In spite of humanity’s reaction to God’s salvation, God’s Son was sent to save humanity not condemn them. In a world plunged into darkness, Jesus is that light that gives life and salvation.
Prayer: Christ Jesus is the ground of faith, who was made flesh and suffered death; All then who trust in Him alone are built on this chief cornerstone (God Loved the World So That He Gave, LSB 571:2).
This devotion was written by Rev. Dean Duncan, pastor of First Lutheran in Belle Plaine, IA.