Recently, I shared a reflectcion on the first few words of one of the most famous of all Bible verses. (Click here to read it)
That verse is, of course, John 3:16. For a reminder, here are those words of hope:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In this post, we are concentrating on these words: that he gave his only begotten Son.
Have you ever been around a truly generous person? They give of themselves and they pour themselves out into everything they do. They’re going to be the first people to volunteer and they’re going to give of themselves in amazing ways.
Others might give financially and, sometimes, at staggering numbers. In a recent ranking from Forbes Magazine, Warren Buffet was rated as the top giver in America. In 2014 alone, Buffet gave away $2.8 billion dollars. In fact, he has given away $22.7 billion in his lifetime and eventually plans to give away 99 percent of his lifetime earnings. That’s a staggering number.
We could take Buffet’s giving and add it to the giving by the other top 50 in Forbes list. Then we could add to that the most generous people in terms of gifts and talents in the world. And, guess what?
All of that combined generosity pales in comparison to what John 3:16 is talking about. It is impossible be more generous than God. When God gives, he gives us Jesus.
“Begotten” is a “King James” king of word. It’s a word that was sometimes used in reference to an only son or an only daughter. In the case of Jesus, it means there’s nothing like him ever. Jesus is the only, the unique, the awesome and the amazing “begotten” Son of God.
You can’t out-give God. When God gives, God gives Jesus.
So, imagine this, God gives the single most generous gift in the history of creation and the response of those who received it is, at best, mixed.
Some love Jesus and are willing to take the steps to follow him. Some don’t like Jesus at all because he challenges them in the toughest areas of their life.
God gives his son who is the perfect gift and some walked away because Jesus didn’t meet their expectations. They wanted a king. They wanted someone to raise the army. They wanted someone to drive the Romans out.
And they get Jesus. Jesus is not the king that people wanted or expected, but he’s the savior we desperately need.
Today, we’re still deciding on that generous gift of God. Will I ignore it, or pretend it never happened? Will I take it for granted?
Or, will I do the only thing that God asks of us when it comes to that gift? Open my hands and accept it.
God gives. Now, how do we respond?