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Now that we are finally entering into football season, I realized I have missed something. Didn’t it seem like every time there was an extra point or field goal during an NFL game you would see this skinny dude in a rainbow wig hold up a sign? …..and what did it say…? Wait for it….

JOHN 3:16

Where did he go? When did that stop? Now all we see are a couple of hands on the net from a national insurance company waiting to catch the ball, (hopefully with the proper amount of air).

Sure it got old and maybe he faded into analog heaven with the digital times. But that image became iconic, like “Where’s the Beef?” or “Meow Meow Meow Meow” and “When E. F. Hutton speaks….”

It started me thinking about John 3:16. It is obviously a section of the third chapter of John where Jesus is trying to describe to a very thick-headed Nicodemus who, bless his heart, doesn’t understand the paradigm shift Jesus is presenting to the world with His arrival and ministry. There are some basic assumptions we need to make here. They are not unlike the “givens” in geometry when you have to do a “proof”.   1. Jesus knows He is God in human form   2. He knows His purpose of propitiation or substitutional atonement for our sins 3. He knows our hearts and is helping Nicodemus and us understand what is required for salvation or in other words restoration of fellowship with God and man (gender neutral – feminists calm down).

Let me ask you something. What does John 3:16 say? Can you recite it in your head? If you blew through it in under 5 seconds, you are sadly in the majority. We are all guilty of just regurgitating this verse instead of honoring it and declaring it slowly. What it says is anticlimactic compared to what it means. Do we understand Jesus is pulling back the curtain to reveal to us a glimpse of God and their motivation?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God’s motivation is …wait for it…. LOVE ! They love us. The triune God, Father, Son Holy Spirit, He Loves us and the result is …. wait for it… He gave …. The Son. You see if we are to be Christ-like (like Jesus), we can have no hate of God’s creation in us. We must love…..and give. You cannot say you love and not be a giver. Conversely if you are a taker only where is the love. This is so much like James, where faith without works is dead.

You see, we serve the King of lovers and the Lover who is King. You can’t out give Him and you can’t out love Them. Maybe instead of holding up a sign, it is time to hold out our arms in love and give to someone who is hurting, even if it is only a hug.