The evangelical message (John 3:16)

Here it is: the good news in a nutshell.

Since the kingdom of God was Jesus’ core message, we’ve asked how John 3:16 would sound from his perspective. In this post we put it all together: the king rescuing his people:

  • God loves his world. God’s love is the enduring love of a sovereign who never gives up on his rebellious realm, because of his covenant commitment.
  • The sovereign extends to his resistant realm a reconciliation gift: his only Son. Jesus is heaven’s ambassador, on a peace-making mission.
  • To believe in his name is to entrust ourselves to his authority, to give our loyalty to the ruler appointed by God.
  • In him, we have eternal life instead of perishing. Disconnected from God we perish, decaying back into the earth, but Jesus has overcome death. He reigns forever, so those who give him allegiance share in his resurrection life.

People ask, If God is powerful and loving, why doesn’t he use his power to stop us being evil? God is not that kind of ruler; he doesn’t force the world into submission. He used his power to raise up the Son we assassinated.  And since Jesus didn’t perish, the world entrusted to his governance doesn’t perish.

We have eternal life in the resurrected king, by trusting him with our allegiance.

John 3:16–17 (paraphrased)
16 Our sovereign reached out with such persistent love to his rebellious realm. The gift he gave the world was his unique Son! Anyone who trusts this Prince does not fall back into the earth and perish, but has life in his eternal reign.
17 You see, the sovereign did not send his son on a war mission (to crush the rebellion and condemn the traitors) but on a peace mission (to rescue the rebellious realm back into his care).

This is good news of peace for God’s world. It’s “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:9).


Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview Church, Perth, Western Australia

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