John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
“It is lost in translation,” said my colleague who studied church history and ancient European languages.
During lunch just last week, I was pleasantly flabbergasted to discover the story about his faith in God, albeit we were both not entirely on the same page in theology. During the course of our discussion, he brought to my attention the famous John 3:16 and our common interpretation of it in the English language.
Typically, most people would interpret it prima facie as the extent through which God loved the world that He gave Jesus to die on the cross for us. However, in the original Greek language, the word “so” that we read in English actually comes to mean “in this way”.
Putting these words back to the verse, it now reads “For God loved the world in this way/manner that He gave His only Son”. This means that in His divine wisdom and sovereignty, while He could have done it in many other ways, He chose to love us by giving us Jesus!
In a world of competing choices, I am glad that God streamlined His solution to sin to one – Jesus Christ. Let us chew on this thought and may our only appropriate response to Him be one of full acceptance of what He has done for us, because that is the only way to the Father.
As we come close to the Christmas holiday – let’s rejoice at this awesome truth!