Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“The Father's Love”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading


“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)

There’s not much I wouldn’t do for my kids. Like any good father, I will stand up for them to anyone and anything that I see as harmful. That’s just the nature of being a parent. You love your kids intensely, unconditionally, and sacrificially.

We often refer to God as “our Father” because he is for those of us who have been born again (John 3.3). But before he was our Father, he had an only Son whom he loved and loves (John 3.35). They were in perfect harmony with one another and he gave his Son everything; which makes sense because that’s the nature of a father. But what I don’t understand is the depth of God’s love to offer that same gift to humanity.

Don’t get me wrong... I understand the great need that we each have to be saved from our sins. I understand that I was dead and doomed apart from the sacrifice of Jesus (Ephesians 2.1; Colossians 2.13). But I just can’t wrap my mind around why God would make that decision. I wouldn't give my children for anyone, much less somebody I don't like. 

There’s so much about John 3.16 that I struggle to understand. God is not giving to his son; he is sacrificing him. The Son who loves the Father is being given for those who do not love him. The paradox of God’s love in sending Jesus forces us to ask the question: why would God do it?

We may not be able to fully grasp the rationale behind his decision on this side of life, but the magnitude of his choice demands our attention. 

I don’t have good answers to all the questions John 3.16 raises… but here is what I know. There is nothing equal to the love of a father; and thank God he loves us so. In fact, these verses show us just how valuable we are to God. We are not some throw-away part of creation that God takes pleasure in toying with or destroying. He purposefully came to us in patience and long-suffering and hurt to get our attention. We would be foolish to reject or neglect such a profound display of love.

How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure.
That he should give his only Son, to make a wretch his treasure.
(How Deep the Father’s Love, vs 1)

“…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5.8, 11)