During our recent move to Arizona, I came across a book I read several years ago by Max Lucado called     3:16 The Numbers of Hope. It’s a whole book about perhaps the most well-known verse in the bible – John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

As you might guess - in an entire book about one verse - he breaks it down pretty thoroughly and in a number of different ways. He starts off by taking four chapters where he just focuses on one word per chapter:

He loves.

He gave.

We believe

We live.

He describes this verse in various passages as the Hope Diamond of scripture, the Magna Carta of scripture, the Rosetta stone of scripture and an alphabet of grace. He says that if you know nothing about the bible, start here or if you know everything about the bible return here. Martin Luther is said to have been repeating this verse over and over on his deathbed.

I think I tend to overlook this verse because it can seem so fundamental and so basic. It’s been such a pleasure re-reading this book and re-discovering how much wisdom and grace is packed into these 26 words. If you get a chance – I recommend reading this book. Otherwise, I recommend reading and studying this verse. It is extremely comforting to take a fresh look at this verse and embrace its message anew.

Brad Gauen

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